Recreation District Picks Solar Garden for Energy

September 30, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

solar garden Energy ManageSouth Suburban Park and Recreation District, a Colorado special district that provides recreational facilities, has made a purchase in a community-owned solar garden operated by Boulder, Colo.-based Clean Energy Collective.

South Suburban Park and Recreation District, serving nearly 140,000 residents, purchased 170 kilowatts, or 725 solar PV panels, in CEC’s Arapahoe County Community Solar Array located in nearby Aurora, Colo. The renewable energy produced by the solar panels, over 260,000 kWh’s per year, will help offset the power requirements for several of the District’s high demand irrigation systems that serve its golf courses, ball fields and playgrounds.

CEC’s community solar model allows electricity customers of any kind to buy into locally-sited, medium-scale solar arrays and receive credit for the power produced directly on their monthly utility bills.

South Suburban’s purchase will allow it to offset power used at multiple facilities, recouping its investment in less than seven years, with a first-year payback of 14 percent, without forfeiting any open space, or adding to its maintenance obligations.

The savings realized from South Suburban’s community solar investment is earmarked to fund other energy efficiency projects identified in the District’s energy performance contract developed by national energy services firm, McKinstry.

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