Solar projects planned for Grand Valley

Solar power projects are planned for locations near Grand Junction and Palisade, three of six projects along the Interstate Highway 70 corridor through Colorado.

Construction is expected to soon begin on a  2 megawatt solar garden planned for an industrial area in Grand Junction, Construction is underway on a  2 megawatt project in Palisade. Projects also are planned for sites in Parachute and west of Silt.

Two more projects are planned for Grand Junction and Silt in 2019.

The solar gardens are a collaborative effort between Standard Solar and Pivot Energy. Standard Solar will finance, own and maintain the six solar gardens developed and constructed by Pivot Energy.

“When Pivot Energy approached us with this portfolio of community solar projects, we were thrilled to partner with them and be a part of advancing Colorado’s leadership in community solar,” said Scott Wiater, president and chief executive officer of Standard Solar. “Community solar is one of the great opportunities to bring solar to people who might not otherwise be able to put solar on their own roofs. It is an exciting, yet underserved, segment of the industry. We’re aiming to change that reality.”

A community solar garden enables subscribers to purchase a portion of power production and receive credits on their electric bills. By one estimate, community solar gardens can serve 50 percent to 75 percent of consumers who don’t have access to conventional rooftop installations.

According to the Colorado Energy Office, Colorado leads the nation with nearly 70 community solar projects in operation.

Subscribers have signed up for the full production from solar gardens in Grand Junction, Palisade, Parachute and Silt. Subscribers are sought for the additional gardens in Grand Junction and Silt.

“There is strong customer demand for community solar because it saves money, generates clean local energy and creates local jobs,” said Rick Hunter, CEO of Pivot Energy. “Many of our customers are municipalities and school districts that are balancing tight budgets and want to benefit from the savings provided by subscribing to our projects. Money they are saving by choosing solar can then be applied to budgets and can lead to additional teachers being hired, public parks being upgraded, or other useful benefits to the community.”

The six solar projects are expected to produce a total of 18,644,960 kilowatt hours of energy. That’s equivalent to offsetting greenhouse gas emissions from 2,971 passenger vehicles driven for one year and carbon dioxide emissions from nearly 7,600 tons of coal burned.