More Solar Power for United Power Consumer-Members

Brighton-based United Power recently completed construction on its newest solar project, Rattlesnake Solar Farm.

This solar farm will provide an additional 6 megawatts of energy to the electric cooperative’s renewable energy portfolio, bringing United Power to more than 43 MWs of local, utility-scale solar. This is in addition to the more than 5,500 residential rooftop systems that are connected to United Power’s system.

The advancement and innovation of local renewable energy is not new for United Power. It launched its first innovative community solar model in 2009, which was the first of its kind in Colorado.

NE Colorado Has EV Charger, Thanks to Electric Co-op

Highline Electric Association announced recently that its new Level 2 EV charging station is ready for public use at its headquarters in Holyoke. This is the first public charging station for electric vehicles the co-op owns and the first within the Phillips/Sedgwick/Chase/Washington county area of northeastern Colorado.

The Enel X JuicePedestal 40 dual head station was purchased by the co-op after it applied for a Charge Ahead Colorado grant last year through the Colorado Energy Office. In addition to receiving the grant, the northeastern Colorado co-op’s power supplier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, offers a rebate program to its member co-ops to help offset the costs of new EV infrastructure.

Rates for the station are $0.50 per charging session plus $0.08 per kilowatt-hour usage. Highline Electric Association Manager of Member Services Tad Huser says, “My Nissan Leaf takes about 12 kWh to charge back to 100% from my 40-mile commute from home to the HEA office. My charge costs the $0.50 session charge plus $0.96 for the 12 kWhs used for a total of $1.46.”

Highline Electric is excited for this EV charging station addition to its headquarters and region.

Community Solar Garden Begins Production

Gunnison County Electric Association recently announced that the new community solar garden at its Gunnison headquarters is officially producing energy. This is the co-op’s second community solar garden. 

The new array is 101 kilowatts, which is five times the size of GCEA’s solar garden in Crested Butte. It’s clear that the community solar garden is a popular option for GCEA’s consumer-members to participate in clean, renewable energy; the short-term, month-to-month lease option is currently sold out. The co-op also offers a 20-year lease option. 

How does community solar work? Consumer-members may lease up to 5 panels per month at $4.71 per month, per share. Consumers then receive a bill credit for the monthly production of their solar shares. 

GCEA is working with other entities to develop additional community solar arrays and plans to have at least one additional project completed in 2021.

The solar garden is an easy and affordable way for GCEA consumer-members to support local renewable energy.