Soon to be built at the former Dreher Pickle plant, the Fort Collins Community Solar Array has doubled in size. Local residents purchased the initial solar capacity of 333 kilowatts (kW) in record time, prompting the expansion to 620 kW.
Situated at the corner of Riverside Avenue and Mulberry Street, the community solar project will be the first collaboration between Louisville-based Clean Energy Collective (CEC) and Fort Collins Utilities. The power purchase agreement between the municipal utility and the community solar developer included an option to expand the project if consumer demand was great enough.
“The initial stage was strongly reserved,” said Norm Weaver, Senior Energy Services Engineer at Fort Collins Utilities. “It seems like that bodes well for being able to subscribe the expanded-size array.”
Nationally recognized for its sustainability leadership, Fort Collins Utilities serves a city of roughly 155,000 residents with 68,000 electric meters. “We’re now in an era that is more supportive of solar, where marketplace factors are aligning to make it more attractive to the average customer,” Weaver said.
Any residential customer of Fort Collins Utilities may purchase panels in the shared solar array. They’ll pay $2.91 per watt upfront, which drops to $1.59 per watt after applying the savings from the federal solar rebate. CEC estimates that customers will receive a 6.9% payback on their solar panels in the first year and an average annual payback of 9.5% over the solar array’s lifetime.
Construction of the Fort Collins Community Solar Array is slated for early 2015, with operations to begin before August.
Learn more at: www.fortcollinscommunitysolar.com