Solar United Neighbors starts next round of co-op PV purchasing program in Denver

The nonprofit organization Solar United Neighbors (SUN) is working with both the city and county of Denver to promote the second Denver Solar Co-op to help residents and small businesses in the region go solar. Eighty-four Denver residents and business owners have joined the co-op, with a goal of reaching 150 members by March 1st.

Joining the free co-op does not obligate members to purchase solar. Instead, members will have the option to individually purchase a solar system, electric storage and/or electric vehicle chargers based on the installer’s group rate. Co-op members will learn about solar energy and how leveraging a group purchase provides competitive pricing and quality solar installations.

“If you’ve ever thought about going solar, now is the time,” said Bryce Carter, Colorado program director for SUN. “We’re proud to work with the city and county of Denver to help families go solar. This partnership allows us to continue to grow our impact in Denver. The solar co-op provides tangible benefits that help transform our electricity system into one that is cleaner, fairer and shares its benefits more broadly.”

Partners with the Denver Solar Co-op include the Denver Office of Climate Action, Sustainability & Resiliency, Alpine Bank, Colorado Renewable Energy Society, Vote Solar, Physicians for Social Responsibility – Colorado, New Energy Colorado and the Northside Sustainability Alliance.

“Denver is committed to a rapid and equitable transition to a 100% renewable electricity system, focusing on local clean energy infrastructure and expanding economic and environmental benefits to more members of our community,” said Grace Rink, executive director of the Denver Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency. “We are excited to partner with SUN to promote opportunities for our residents to go solar, whether through rooftop solar installations or participation in Denver’s upcoming community solar program.”

Last month, members of the Denver solar co-op selected Photon Brothers to install solar panels for the group through a competitive bidding process.

“We are thrilled to be chosen to serve the Denver SUN co-op,” said John E. Johnson at Photon Brothers. “With 2020 being so tumultuous, we expect a smoother 2021 where solar will shine on all who participate. For more than eight years, our family-owned company has worked with homeowners and businesses in the area, providing quality solar installations at a competitive price. We are committed to putting the customer first and powering Colorado with clean renewable energy. Being headquartered in Denver Metro allows us to deepen our roots in the Front Range and beyond. We are excited about the future and working alongside Solar United Neighbors.”

Renters and building owners who can’t install solar on their property have an alternative. They can sign up for the Renewable Denver Community Solar Program. Starting in 2021, this program can provide solar energy for up to 1,000 households. Income-qualified residents can save 10% or more on their monthly electric bills through this program.

“The city is excited that the Denver Solar Co-op’s member-led selection committee has chosen a local Colorado company as its installer,” said Jonathan Rogers, Renewable Energy Specialist in Denver’s Office of Climate Action, Sustainability & Resiliency. “This selection enables discount pricing and quality installations for co-op members, which will advance Denver’s equitable transition to clean energy and help residents save on their monthly electricity bills.”

SUN has facilitated six solar co-ops throughout Colorado since launching the program in 2019. This has helped nearly 200 families and businesses build 1.3 MW of solar capacity and invest $3.2 million into our local communities.

“I was curious about installing solar panels on my Denver home last year,” said Stacey Decker, member of SUN’s first Denver solar co-op. “When I saw that the solar co-op would give me access to free, vendor-neutral information and guidance throughout the process, I signed up right away. Since going solar we’re saving money each month and reducing our carbon footprint — a real win-win.”

Individuals interested in going solar can view the orientation video or sign up for the next information session at the co-op web page at www.solarunitedneighbors.org/denver. Anyone in the city and county of Denver can sign up to join the co-op and receive a free bid for rooftop solar. The website also includes a recorded session for general information about how solar co-ops work.

News item from Solar United Neighbors