Pueblo, Colo. (Feb. 25, 2020) – Black Hills Energy announced the selection of two solar development companies to deliver an additional 2.5 megawatts (MW) of community solar garden capacity to its Southern Colorado customers. The new projects include a 2 MW facility and a separate 500-kilowatt (kW) garden dedicated entirely to serving low-income customers.
The winning, lowest-cost bids were from Pivot Energy and Grid Alternatives. Pivot Energy, a Denver-based solar energy company, will lead construction of the 2 MW facility in north Pueblo and partner with local high school STEM programs, colleges and universities to provide educational opportunities via scholarships and hands-on experiences throughout the project.
Grid Alternatives, a non-profit organization focused on making clean energy more accessible to underserved communities, will build the 500-kW low-income solar garden near Pueblo Memorial Airport. Construction is expected to begin later this year and subscriptions are still available at both facilities for all Black Hills Energy customers in Pueblo, Cañon City and across the Southern Colorado territory.
Once completed, Black Hills Energy’s total community solar garden capacity will reach 10.12 MW by the end of 2021, with more than 2 MW dedicated solely to serving low-income customers. This expansion of Black Hills Energy’s low-income solar program allows all customers increased access to clean energy and its associated cost savings.
“Selecting partners for these new community solar garden projects brings us one step closer to delivering more renewable energy options for all of our customers, including income-qualified residential customers and local non-profit service providers,” said Vance Crocker, Black Hills Energy’s vice president for Southern Colorado. “Community solar gardens are a cost-effective solution for customers interested in clean energy and provide another option for residents who may not have the ability to invest in a rooftop solar array. We’ll continue to make solar energy more accessible than ever with additional community solar gardens planned in the coming years.”
“We’re thrilled to be one of the partners selected to contribute to Black Hills Energy’s growing portfolio of carbon-free electricity sources,” said Jon Sullivan, senior vice president of project development for Pivot Energy. “Through this award, we are able to deepen our commitment to Southern Colorado’s communities beyond just providing clean energy, by supporting its student’s continued education. We look forward to working with Black Hills Energy and the local communities on more projects like this in the future.”
With five community solar gardens currently serving Southern Colorado customers, Black Hills Energy expects to bring a total of three new facilities online by the end of 2021, with plans to select developers for an additional 5 MW of community solar garden capacity in the next several years.
Black Hills Energy is also working on a proposal that seeks to lower customers‘ bills by adding up to 200 MW of new, low-cost renewable energy resources to its Southern Colorado system via large-scale projects to include wind, solar and battery storage. This addition would result in as much as 65 percent of the utility’s Southern Colorado generation portfolio coming from carbon-free resources by 2023.
To learn more about Black Hills Energy’s community solar garden program and subscription opportunities, visit www.blackhillsenergy.com/services/colorado-solar-program/community-solar-garden.
Source: Black Hills Energy