Solar co-op lights up with new members

Luke Zarzecki
lzarzecki@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/3/22

Adams County Solar Co-Op so far gathered 120 members to learn about solar and picked Photon Brothers to install solar panels for those looking to move forward with the program.

“I want our …

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Solar co-op lights up with new members

Posted

Adams County Solar Co-Op, an effort to encourage residents to add solar panels to their homes, has gathered 120 members to learn about solar and picked Photon Brothers to install solar panels for those looking to move forward with the program.

“I want our kids to grow up in a healthy environment,” said Northglenn Mayor Meredith Leighty at the program's March 23 kickoff.

Most of the members live in Westminster, though there has been an uptick of members in Northglenn. Bryce Carter, Colorado program director for Solar United Neighbors, a vendor-neutral, nonprofit organization that the co-op partners with, attributes that demand to a waitlist the co-op had in Westminster last year.  

The deadline to join the co-op is Aug. 10, and the group will be hosting events on June 7 at Tony Romas and on June 14 at Kokopelli Beer Company for potential members to learn more. 

“Adams County Solar Co-Op is essentially a group buy for rooftop solar,” Carter said. 

Property owners can sign up for the co-op and Solar United Neighbors will see if a building is fit for solar using satellite imaging. If the building's rooftops face the right direction and get enough direct sunlight,  the property owner is welcome to join the co-op and install solar on their home. 

The co-op is free to join and members pay only if they decide to go solar. The co-op exists because the price of solar goes down with group rates. 

“Group buys are great because they are basically multipliers for group purchasing,” he said. “So we see economies of scale and people can ultimately save money when it comes to them going solar. Oftentimes, we see anywhere from 10-20% below market rate pricing.” 

With the 120 members, Carter says the program expects about 20-30% of those who signed up to move forward with the solar installation. The co-op's goal is to hit 180 members, so about 54 households would install solar. 

“Let's assume an average of 5kW of capacity per project means 270 kW of solar capacity. The (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) calculator estimates that it could produce 405,000 kWh over a year,” Carter said. 

That could equate to around 52 cars off the road a year, fossil fuel emissions wise. A solar system has an estimated life of at least 25 years, Carter said. 

The co-op is also available to businesses.

“Anyone that's looking to help go solar on their business can also look at that as well,” he said. 

Next year, Solar United Neighbors is looking to launch a co-op in Thornton and other parts of the county as well. 

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