Clean Energy Collective, a community solar power provider, and Colorado electric utility Black Hills Energy plan to bring the first roofless community solar facility to Pueblo, Colorado and the surrounding area.
Black Hills Energy’s electric customers in Colorado will be able to purchase individual panels in the 120 kW shared solar photovoltaic array, developed and operated by CEC, and receive direct credit on their Black Hills Energy electric bill for the power produced. A portion of the array has been earmarked at a reduced rate for Posada, an income-based housing program in Pueblo.
The array will be the first roofless community solar power project for Black Hills Energy. It supports the utility’s much broader efforts to introduce more choices in renewable energy for its 95,000 Colorado electric customers. Black Hills chose CEC’s model because it provides a turnkey solution that has been well vetted with several utilities in Colorado and other states, including cooperative, municipal and other investor-owned utilities.
As part of the agreement, Black Hills Energy required that a portion of the energy produced by the array be made available to low-income residents within its service territory. To this end, CEC and Black Hills selected Posada, the Pueblo-based organization that provides housing and supportive services to homeless individuals and families in Pueblo County, as a key partner in providing these benefits to qualifying Pueblo residents due to its expertise in managing housing initiatives on behalf of this key demographic. Posada will purchase 12 kW, about 10 percent, of the array from CEC at a discount, which will benefit participants in Posada’s program.