Press Release: Contract Signed for New 500 kW Community Array in Southern Colorado
Saturday, April 12, 2014

Clean Energy Collective and La Plata Electric Association Energize Community-Owned Solar for Southern Colorado

Contract for 500 kW facility broadens access to renewable energy for LPEA members


April 12, 2014

Media Contact for CEC:

Tim Braun

(970) 618-0080



BOULDER, COLO. – (April 12, 2014) Clean Energy Collective, the leading developer of community-based clean energy facilities, announced today it was selected by La Plata Electric Association (LPEA), a Touchstone Energy Cooperative, to develop a 500 kW community-owned solar garden. The agreement brings the highly popular community-owned solar solution to southern Colorado, including the towns of Durango and Pagosa Springs, supporting LPEA’s quest to reach 20 percent locally-generated alternative energy by 2020.

The power purchase agreement (PPA) allows LPEA, a customer-owned rural electric cooperative serving more than 30,000 members in southwestern Colorado, to buy all of the power generated from the solar PV array owned and operated by CEC. Any LPEA residential and commercial customer will be able to purchase individual panels in the shared array and receive credit for the energy produced directly on their LPEA utility bill.

Innovator of the community-owned solar solution, CEC’s model allows any customer in a participating utility territory, including renters, those with shaded roofs or people with modest incomes, the opportunity to own panels in a shared solar PV facility without having to install a rooftop system on their home or business. Community solar customers are afforded the same rebates and incentives as rooftop system owners.

Community solar is increasingly advantageous to rural communities as it eliminates the excessive costs of connecting long electricity lines from current generation sites to individual communities, where the average number of customers per mile of line is considerably less that of investor-owned utilities in more densely populated areas. Community solar facilities are designed and located for maximum power production and lifespan, delivering the lowest possible price for renewable energy. The LPEA facility will also be employing an innovative solar tracking system to optimize direct sunlight throughout the day, further increasing power output.

“We are looking forward to working with LPEA and its members to provide the unique benefits of the community-owned solar solution,” said CEC President Paul Spencer. “This is a way for LPEA members to be able to have affordable power and feel good about how their energy is generated.”

This is the fifth rural cooperative utility in Colorado implementing CEC’s community solar solution. The location and final pricing structure of the LPEA array will follow at a later date.

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 facilities that are collectively owned by participating 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 40 community solar projects with 18 utility partners across 7 states, representing 26 MW of community solar capacity.


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Press Release: New Community Solar Array for La Plata Electric Association Members