District inks agreement: Clean Energy Collective RooflessSolar Program
The District is embarking on another solar energy initiative as part of its commitment to sustainability and stewardship of the environment. With the help of Louisville, Colo.-based Clean Energy Collective (CEC), our community solar provider, we can meet our sustainability goals through an offsite community solar array. Our participation in community solar doesn’t require any up-front cash and will generate financial savings from the first month of service.
CEC’s program, called RooflessSolar, allows energy customers to participate in a medium-scale solar array optimally designed and sited within a utility service territory. The District secured 2.4 MW of community-shared solar capacity from CEC through a RooflessSolar subscription. The clean power from this generating capacity is earmarked to offset nearly all the power demand from our three large recreation centers, and will reduce the corresponding utility costs by more than $1.5 million. The District previously purchased 170 kilowatts (kW) of RooflessSolar capacity to off-set power consumption of its irrigation systems.
Monetary credits for the solar generation will be assigned to the electricity meters at Buck Recreation Center, Goodson Recreation Center and Lone Tree Recreation Center, which use a total of 5,145,600 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity. These credits are delivered directly on our monthly Xcel Energy bills. The estimated 4,800,000 kWh of power that the solar panels produce will offset 93 percent of our electricity usage at these facilities.
The goal of the RooflessSolar program is to provide the District access to energy savings, protection against rising energy costs, and a cost-effective way to support environmental goals, all without making physical or mechanical changes to facilities. Clean Energy Collective is responsible for operating and maintaining the facilities.
“Last year the District hosted a variety of public meetings, focus groups and a comprehensive online survey to gather input from constituents on what was important to them in parks and recreation. Sustainability ranked high, and our partnership with CEC helps us achieve some of the sustainability goals set out in our new Master Plan,” said Brett Collins, South Suburban’s Director of Planning and Development.
Design and engineering of the actual array is nearing completion. Construction will begin this summer with interconnection anticipated in late 2017. When the system is deemed fully functional by the utility, the array will begin generating clean solar power producing credits that will flow directly to the District’s utility bill.