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Aug. 15, 2013

Low-Income Families to Receive Solar Power Through New Program

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Carbondale, Colorado-based Clean Energy Collective recently announced the launch of a new program that will give low-income residents in Denver, Colorado access to locally produced clean energy. Following a new partnership agreement between solar garden developer Clean Energy Collective (CEC) and the Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver (DHA), the new Community Solar Low-Income Residential Program will see CEC devoting a part of the power produced by three community solar facilities serving Xcel Energy’s Denver County customers offset the electrical bills for around 35 families living in the DHA facilities.

“We’re very proud of this new partnership with DHA and the opportunity to provide clean, locally made energy to several Denver families, many of whom may be facing greater challenges than reducing their carbon footprint,” said Tom Sweeney, CEC’s chief operating officer.

Five percent of the power generated by each of the three community solar arrays CEC has in line for development in Denver County will go to the DHA program. This would equate to 70kW or around 100 panels from each array. According to CEC estimates, the program should generate over $7,700 in bill credits for DHA housing residents within the first year and close to $230,000 over the 20-year period of the program.

“This is a great partnership with CEC, it demonstrates a creative way to bring environmentally friendly, low cost renewable energy to serve low-income residents,” said Ismael Guerrero, DHA executive director. “DHA benefits because we don’t disrupt our buildings or daily operations and residents will receive a direct credit on their monthly bill, thus saving money every month.”

CEC is currently building 11 community solar arrays as part of Xcel Energy’s Solar Rewards Community program to serve Colorado customers in Boulder, Denver, Arapahoe, Jefferson and Summit counties, and the City of Aurora.

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