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Thursday, March 24, 2022

Solar Co-op Launches for Unincorporated Adams County, Northglenn, and Westminster Residents to Go Solar Together

Adams County, CO – Adams County and the Cities of Northglenn and Westminster announced today a regional collaboration with the nonprofit Solar United Neighbors (SUN) to launch the Adams County Solar Co-op to help area residents go solar to help achieve local climate and energy goals.

“One of the goals of Adams County’s sustainability plan is to expand clean energy opportunities for all residents,” said Lynn Baca, Chair of the Board of County Commissioners. “By working in tandem with Northglenn and Westminster, we can move closer to reaching all our goals by establishing this solar co-op. But the real winners are the residents and businesses who will enjoy reduced energy bills and a smaller carbon footprint after joining the co-op and installing their solar panels.”

The solar co-op is free to join and is open to homeowners and business owners in unincorporated Adams County and the cities of Northglenn and Westminster. Together, co-op members will learn about solar energy and leverage their numbers to purchase individual solar systems at a discounted group price. Joining the co-op does not obligate members to purchase solar. Instead, members will have the option to individually purchase panels, electric vehicle chargers, and battery storage based on the installer’s group rate.

"Northglenn is so excited to be a part of the Adams County Solar Co-op!" shared City of Northglenn Mayor Meredith Leighty. "Sustainability is a key element in our strategic plan, and this will offer our residents another opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint."

Last year, the City of Westminster launched their first solar co-op with 88 families who joined. 24 projects were installed totaling 168 kW of solar capacity. This resulted in nearly $500,000 of economic investment that is anticipated to save families nearly $750,000 over the lifetime of those systems.

“Westminster and SUN partnered on a very successful solar co-op in 2021, and we want to expand that success to more homeowners,” said Paul Scmiechen, Chief Sustainability Officer with Westminster. “The 2022 Co-op will help Westminster residents install a cleaner electricity source, save residents money on their energy bills, and create greater neighborhood collaboration– and those 3 reasons are the classic definition of community sustainability.”

After a competitive bidding process facilitated by SUN, co-op members will select a single solar company to complete the installations. SUN provides guidance on the process but remains vendor neutral, empowering the co-op members to decide.

“Solar United Neighbors is dedicated to helping families explore what going solar means for them,” said Bryce Carter, Colorado Program Director with Solar United Neighbors. “By collaborating with communities regionally, we’re able to not only help more families go solar, but also work to expand solar access whether through a solar equity rebate, elevating innovative financing opportunities, and addressing language barriers.”

Additional partners include the Denver Foundation, who has provided seed funding to launch a Solar Equity fund for low-to-moderate income residents, and the Colorado Clean Energy Fund, who are supporting inclusive financing solutions for co-op participants.

SUN will host several free informational webinars to educate community members about solar energy and the co-op. Individuals interested in going solar can sign up for the co-op or one of the upcoming information sessions at the co-op web page. The co-op will be open to new members until August 10.

 

About Solar United Neighbors

Solar United Neighbors is a nonprofit organization that works in Colorado and nationwide to represent the needs and interests of solar owners and supporters. Solar co-ops are part of the organization’s mission to create a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. Solar United Neighbors holds events and education programs to help people become informed solar consumers, maximize the value of their solar investment, and advocate for fair solar policies.

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