DENVER (KDVR) — Have you ever thought about switching to solar energy but you don’t own a home? Maybe it’s too expensive to install solar panels? It might be time to consider a solar garden.
The Uncompahgre Community Solar Garden is Colorado’s largest community solar garden and began operating at the beginning of Feb. The garden is the twenty-second solar garden in Colorado and allows anyone in the state to use its solar energy.
In 2019, Gov. Polis signed the Community Solar Gardens Modernization Act into law. This act allows for larger gardens, like the Uncompahgre Community Solar Garden, to operate and create clean solar energy for more than 450 homes. The larger the project, the lower the electric bill.
Although Colorado typically has about 250 to 300 days of sunshine a year, only 25 to 30 percent of homes are good candidates for solar panels. Factors that can impact a home’s candidacy include:
- How a house is situated
- The amount of shade a house receives
- Limitations to renters in choosing a home’s energy source
With a community solar garden however, Colorado residents take partial ownership in the project and the energy is delivered directly to homes.
Lawmakers who helped develop the solar gardens say cleaner fuels and energy sources need to be phased into the Colorado economy.
“Over time Colorado is going to displace its use of fossil fuels across the economy, that’s certainly something we are taking very seriously at the Colorado legislature and something the governor is very committed to. We’re working together to as rapidly as we can reduce carbon emissions in the state, so that means doing more things with clean electricity and less things with fossil fuels” said Senator Chris Hansen.
The Uncompahgre Community Solar Garden created hundreds of construction jobs as well as dozens of ongoing operational jobs. As more solar gardens are added across the state, Colorado can expect more jobs in the future.
To learn more about the solar gardens or to sign up, head over to the SunShare website for more information.