Press Release: Ridgway Public Library Taps Community Solar For Clean Energy Production
Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ridgway Public Library Taps Community Solar For Clean Energy Production

9.4 kW purchase in San Miguel County Community Solar Array delivers financial,
environmental benefits


December 11, 2014

Media Contact

Tim Braun
(970) 618-0080


RIDGWAY, COLO. – (December 11, 2014) Recognizing the Ridgway Public Library’s role as educator and community leader, the library district’s board of trustees has approved the proposal to offset a portion of the power needs of the Ridgway Public Library with locally made renewable energy through community solar. The library has purchased a 9.4 kW solar PV system in the San Miguel Power Association Community Solar Array, located about 60 miles west of Ridgway, near Naturita, Colo.

The 40 panels purchased in the 1.1 MW DC shared solar facility, developed by the San Miguel Power Association and Louisville-based Clean Energy Collective (CEC), will generate approximately 16,500 kWh of clean energy each year, just over half of the library’s electricity use, and will earn an energy cost savings of $1,820 each year.

The board had been reviewing ways to use clean energy for the environmental benefits, but as a public entity its priority was to ensure a positive return on investment. An on-site system was deemed impractical given the building’s design and orientation to the sun. The community solar solution circumvented these barriers while meeting the library’s budgetary requirements.

“The capital reserves earmarked for this project were otherwise earning near zero interest and will now produce a positive return, so this move aligned well with the values and operational strategies of the library,” said board member Dickson Pratt, an early champion of the community solar option. “We’re now generating clean electricity, more interest in renewable energy, and hopefully some community pride.”

To show his confidence in the opportunity and initiate discussion, Mr. Pratt personally purchased a single panel in the community array, and donated it to the library.

Pioneered by Colorado-based CEC, the community-owned solar model employs economies of scale to build optimally sited, fully maintained solar PV arrays designed for maximum power production and lifespan, delivering the lowest possible price for renewable energy. The shared array is accessible to all ratepayers in the SMPA territory—residential, commercial, and municipal—with credit for energy production delivered directly on customers’ utility bills.

After available rebates and tax incentives, the cost of going solar within the San Miguel Power Associations territory is $2.95 per Watt, or $693 per solar panel. The lifetime environmental benefit of the 9.4 kW purchase is equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions from energy production by more than 300,000 lbs, or the CO2 absorbing power of 463 trees.

Those interested learning more can contact CEC at (800) 646-0323 or visit

About Clean Energy Collective

Clean Energy Collective (CEC) is the nation’s leading developer of community solar solutions. CEC pioneered the model of delivering clean power-generation through large-scale solar PV facilities accessible to all utility customers. Since establishing the first community-owned solar garden in the country in 2010 near El Jebel, Colorado, CEC has built or has under development more than 40 community solar projects with 18 utility partners across 8 states, representing 36 MW of community solar capacity.

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Press Release: Ridgway Public Library Taps Community Solar For Clean Energy Production