Solar at the headwaters

Solar United Neighbors launched a solar cooperative in Grand and Jackson counties

The non-profit Solar United Neighbors has launched a new cooperative for Grand and Jackson counties, which are coterminous with the Mountain Parks Electric.

The primary advantage of the solar cooperative is that members can leverage through their amassed numbers to achieve improved group economics. Solar cooperatives have previously been established in the Yampa Valley around Steamboat Springs and Craig, the Grand Valley around Grand Junction, and in the Fort Collins area.

Partners in this new co-op, called the Colorado Headwaters Solar Co-op, include Fraser’s municipal government, New Energy Colorado, and Solar CitiSuns, among others.

“The cooler mountain air and higher alpine elevations make for an ideal landscape for solar, as panels produce more energy being closer to the sun and in colder temperatures,” said Jacob Schlesinger, chair of the co-op steering committee and partner at Keyes & Fox, LLP.

Time is of the essence, he said, as the 26% federal tax credit will be reduced.

After a competitive bidding process facilitated by SUN, co-op members will select a single solar company to complete the installations. However, joining the co-op does not obligate members to purchase solar.

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Allen Best