Solar companies Standard Solar and Pivot Energy have completed a nearly 2 MW project in Jefferson County, near Lakewood. Developed in partnership with Pivot, Standard Solar funded the community solar array and is the projects’ long-term owner and operator. The project is the fifth and final site in a series of community solar developments launched by the partnership in 2019 in an effort to expand community solar access across the state of Colorado.
These projects are part of the recent historical growth in community solar. It has proven to be a way for local communities to accelerate the shift to clean energy while offering significant cost savings for subscribers.
Jon Fitzpatrick, Vice President of Project Development for Pivot Energy, said, “Pivot is very proud to see this portfolio come to fruition. These five projects are a step toward meeting the growing demand for clean energy across Colorado, all while supporting jobs and bringing myriad economic benefits to the local communities. Our partnership with Standard Solar has been a tremendous success in expanding access to solar for more Coloradans, and we look forward to continued solar development in the state and across the nation.”
Solar community projects are the fastest-growing segment of the solar industry. In this model, multiple subscribers buy a portion of the power produced and receive a credit on their electric bill as a result. It has the ability to serve an estimated 50 to 75% of U.S. consumers who do not have access to conventional rooftop installations but want to reap the benefit of solar energy.
Over 110 kW of the project’s capacity is specifically designated for low-to-moderate income (LMI) segments of the community, a demographic which has historically had less access to the benefits of solar energy. This type of project carveout is nothing new for Pivot or Standard Solar, who both have a track record of working proactively to expand access to solar in the communities they serve. Pivot Energy is Colorado’s largest community solar provider, with 8.5 MW worth of LMI community solar subscribers in the state, amounting to 17% of total subscribers. Standard Solar also has a track record of supporting development inclusive of LMI subscribers.
Other notable offtakers include local municipalities: over 500 kW to the town of Eaton, nearly 75 kW to the Town of Parachute, and over 500 kW to Garfield County. Key components of the community will also be partly supported by solar now, as the Grand Junction Airport and Homeward Bound of Grand Valley are also slated as offtakers.
“By working with Pivot Energy on these projects, we have been able to leverage our collective resources to yield even greater results,” said Shaun Laughlin, Head of US Strategic Development for Standard Solar. “Community solar is undeniably a key component of the future of clean energy and is set for immense, sustained growth. We are encouraged by the success of these projects in Colorado in expanding equitable access to solar power and committed to funding further development in the community solar sector.”
The two companies have met their goal of developing 8.9 MW of solar power in Colorado through the completion of this project series, offsetting greenhouse gas emissions roughly equivalent to taking 2,671 cars off the road for one year. The other four projects in the series are located in Garfield County, Jefferson County and Mesa County and are also managed through SunCentral, Pivot Energy’s proprietary community solar customer management interface that provides users with a seamless and enjoyable community solar experience.
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