While previous projects through this program have primarily served the public sector, this first-of-its-kind community solar project will operate on a mixed subscription-based model, providing large-scale access to solar energy for both residential and private commercial customers. Seventy-five percent of the renewable power will be provided to 16 buildings owned by Unico Properties in Boulder and Denver. The remaining 25 percent will be sold to residential customers.
“At Unico Solar, we’re committed to expediting Colorado’s transition to a clean energy future” said Adam Knoff, associate director and co-founder of Unico Solar. “Thanks to strong partnerships with Excelsior, Namasté Solar and Xcel, we’re helping to realise that future by providing an alternative source of electricity for communities across the Denver metro area. We look forward to identifying additional opportunities to advance and scale the use of clean energy within the commercial, industrial and residential real estate sectors.”
Jason Sharpe, Co-Owner and CEO at Namasté Solar, added that the Namaste Solar team brought 15 years of local experience in Xcel Energy’s Solar Rewards programmes to the portfolio which proved invaluable over the last year of development.
UX Solar will lease a total of 1.7 million square feet (or 40 acres) between the four sites. Each site is expected to generate 3,649,327 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, totalling 291,946,179 kWh over the 20-year contract term with Xcel Energy. The solar electricity generation will reduce carbon emissions by approximately 206,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to burning 227,400,000 pounds of coal.
These community solar gardens work toward Colorado’s overall goal to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2040, as set forth by Governor Jared Polis’s HB-1003, the Community Solar Gardens Modernisation Act, which makes it easier for the state’s residents to access clean energy.
The new sites are part of a 250 MW portfolio of commercial and industrial solar projects being built by Unico Solar and Excelsior across North America. The sites will sell clean electricity to a diversified mix of consumers, including commercial businesses, property owners, municipalities, educational institutions, entertainment facilities, utilities, and other electricity customers under long-term power purchase agreements.