On May 15, Larimer County Commissioners Steve Johnson, Tom Donnelly and Lew Gaiter II visited the Poudre Valley REA campus to meet with CEO Jeff Wadsworth and to check out the community solar farm located at the headquarters.
The County Commissioners recently approved the site for the second phase of the community solar farm, which will be located in Fort Collins. The new solar farm that will be constructed between an agreement with Poudre Valley REA and Clean Energy Collective will be four times larger than the first phase and will allow many more members to participate.
PVREA’s initial project was constructed in 2012 and was the first community solar farm in Northern Colorado. It was dedicated in August 2012 when 494 solar panels generating 116,090 watts of electricity were energized. The new array will be more than four times the size of the first one at 500,000 watts. The first facility was constructed at the Poudre Valley REA headquarters near Windsor, but space requirements did not allow further expansion at that site.
CEC will fund construction of the project and Poudre Valley REA will purchase the electricity under a purchase power agreement. Once completed, PVREA consumers may purchase individual panels and their electric bills will be credited for the electricity generated each month. Both residential and small commercial accounts may participate in the program.
“We’re very excited about starting construction on our second community solar farm. The Board of Directors and everyone at Poudre Valley REA were very pleased with the success of the first solar farm on campus,” said Poudre Valley REA CEO Jeff Wadsworth, “This second community solar farm allows us to bring more renewable energy opportunities to our membership.”
The community solar concept allows all consumers to participate in renewable energy, including renters, those in poorly sighted properties and individuals of all income levels, without having to build a system of their own, and reap the benefits directly on their monthly electric bills through the utility.
"The fact that the first phase sold out before it was even completed shows that Poudre Valley REA's members are committed to using locally-produced renewable energy," says Paul Spencer, founder and CEO of CEC.
The environmental impact over the life of the array is equal to taking 17,000,000 automobile miles off the road.
Find out how you can be a part of the community solar farm by visiting www.pvreasolar.com or calling 1-800-370-5276.