FROM LANDFILL TO SOLAR GARDEN
Former Colorado Springs’ Landfill Converting to Renewable Energy Park; Clean Energy Collective Greening the Brownfield Site with a Community Solar Garden
December 8, 2011 (Clean Energy Collective)
"…[T]he former Templeton Gap Landfill will be the site for one of Colorado Springs’ first community-owned solar gardens, recycling the 43-acre brownfield site into a renewable energy park…Now a grassy mound located within a business park development…the closed landfill will be repurposed to house a 500kW community solar array [designed by Martifer Solar USA and Sunsense Solar] that will deliver clean, locally-produced solar power to 150 to 200 Colorado Springs utility customers.
"Recycling this otherwise unusable site was the result of a coordinated effort between government and non-profit agencies at the local, state, and federal levels…[T]he Colorado Bownfields Foundation (CBF)… chose the Clean Energy Collective because its community solar model compliments local master planning and surrounding commercial and industrial development, and provides for long‐term environmental stewardship of the community…The EPA is similarly optimistic about the long-term environmental solution…"
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"The CEC’s community solar model allows any residential or educational customer in the Colorado Springs Utilities territory—including property renters, those in poorly sighted properties and individuals of all income levels—the opportunity to purchase solar panels in the array, produce clean energy without having to build a costly system of their own, and through the utility reap the benefits directly on their monthly electric bills.
"The Clean Energy Collective was the first in the nation to build and operate a community-owned renewable energy facility, and this will be the fifth solar facility for the Colorado-based company. Along with an 858 kW facility in Rifle—currently the largest community-owned solar garden in the nation—and an 80 kW pilot facility operating in El Jebel, the CEC is developing a 1 MW site in El Jebel, a 1 MW facility near Telluride, and is working on more than 33 MW of community solar opportunities throughout the nation…"