This Colorado community solar deal includes public housing PV investment

Housing Authority for Pueblo Colorado

Johnson Controls, GRID Alternatives Colorado and Capital Dynamics will finance, operate and maintain a 2-MW community solar garden for the Housing Authority for the City of Pueblo (HACP) Colorado. One of six contracted projects, this will be a ground-mounted PV system large enough to power 200 households annually. The energy capacity will be allocated to a mix of qualified, low-income residents as well as multifamily affordable housing properties. In addition, the project will provide hands-on solar training and employment opportunities for the local community.

The project is anchored by the HACP in support of its long-term affordable housing initiative with the City of Pueblo to improve sustainability and community health. HACP plans to direct annual energy cost savings from the 2 MW project to enable a community solar benefit plan, which will support job training, educational opportunities in addition to other program and financial assistance, according to Frank Pacheco, executive director.

In addition to the solar garden, Johnson Controls and GRID Alternatives will help HACP develop five additional public housing sites with onsite solar PV systems using incentives from Black Hills Energy.

“By simultaneously investing in renewable energy and new career pathways for its residents, the City of Pueblo is a model for how cities can build community resilience while strengthening their infrastructure. Johnson Controls is proud to lead the team that is helping the city’s aspirations come to life.” said Nate Manning, President of Building Solutions North America at Johnson Controls.

Johnson Controls, who oversees the project and is responsible for site management, worked with GRID Alternatives, national leader in providing access to clean, affordable renewable energy, transportation, and jobs to economic and environmental justice communities nationwide. There will be no upfront costs to the city thanks to the Johnson Controls investment partner who financed the project, Capital Dynamics, a private asset management firm focused on mid-market corporate investing and clean energy infrastructure. The three organizations have worked together to design, build, install and maintain the solar garden for HACP.

In 2010, the housing authority selected Johnson Controls to deliver $4.8 million in energy efficiency improvements under an energy performance contract. In 2018, Black Hills Energy selected GRID Alternatives to build two community solar projects in Pueblo. Longtime partners, Johnson Controls and GRID Alternatives built Colorado’s first floating solar array in 2019. The project won that year’s Colorado Solar & Storage Association (COSSA) Solar Power and Energy Storage Award for Industrial PV Project of the Year.

“Renewable energy has the power to lift up communities,” said Adrienne Dorsey, executive director of GRID Alternatives Colorado. “The installation of this 2-megawatt solar project is a great example of how partners from the public, private and non-profit sectors can work together to advance the transition to a world powered by renewable energy that benefits everyone.”

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