The Colorado chapter of California-based nonprofit solar installer GRID Alternatives and Grand Valley Power (GVP), an electric cooperative utility based in Grand Junction, Colo., have partnered to develop a 25 kW community solar garden dedicated exclusively to low-income ratepayers.
The array will provide electricity for six to 10 families living in the Grand Junction area, offsetting up to 90% of their electricity costs. GVP is providing land, interconnection and philanthropic support for the project, which is being designed and built by GRID Alternatives. The utility will own the solar equipment and provide retail bill credit for participating low-income households.
The project is also receiving support from Housing Resources of Western Colorado, Atlasta Solar and Alpine Bank. SunEdison, Enphase Energy and IronRidge are donating equipment for the project. The pilot installation is scheduled for completion by the end of May.
‘We have seen a tremendous groundswell of hard-working families wanting solar and the benefits it brings,’ says Chuck Watkins, executive director of GRID Alternatives Colorado. ‘Community solar can provide solar to all Coloradoans regardless if they're renters or homeowners. We'd like to see this replicated all over Colorado.’