New Mexico Community-Owned Solar Garden Blooms
Photos and Videos of Community Solar Array Construction at Taos Charter School
Update July 4, 2012
The construction of New Mexico's first Community-Owned Solar Garden outside the Taos Charter School is well on its way to completion. Sol Luna Solar of Dixon, NM, headed by Mark Johnson, is constructing the community solar array on top of a solar carport structure that will house 420 panels and allow room for shaded parking below.
This video below shows structural foundation component of the project being constructed. Special thanks to Sol Luna Solar for putting the video together.
Community Solar Array Construction at Taos Charter School
Solar carports are easy to maintain, protect automobiles from the weather, and provide a convenient place to charge electric vehicles. The photos show the steel structure starting to go up.
Photos taken Week of July 1, 2012
The Clean Energy Collective (CEC) is administering the Community-Owned Solar Garden program for Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC), Taos, NM.
Clean Energy Collective pioneered the community solar model for clean energy production, which allows community members to purchase solar panels located in solar gardens to offset their electricity use. CEC constructs and maintains the solar gardens, and the local utility company agrees to acquire the power from the community arrays. Consumers receive the same tax credits and electricity discounts as they would if the panels were installed on their roofs. CEC warranties the panels for 50 years, so consumers don't have to worry about construction, maintenance or repair.
Historically, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative has been a national leader in clean energy production, so it is not surprising that they have become a leader in community solar as well. KCEC is ranked second among cooperatives in the nation in solar usage per consumer and fourth in total solar production. Over ten years ago the Town of Taos was officially proclaimed "Solar Capital of the World" by former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.
The community solar concept allows all consumers to utilize clean renewable energy, including renters, those with poorly sighted properties and individuals of all income levels, without having to build a costly system of their own. Owners of community solar panels reap the benefits directly on their monthly electric bills through KCEC.
Simulation of Future Taos Charter School Community Solar Array, as seen from behind the school.
Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC) is a member-owned Electric Distribution Cooperative. KCEC is one of 13 electric cooperatives that serve rural New Mexico communities, and one of 44 distribution cooperatives receiving power from Tri-State Generation and Transmission, of Denver, Colorado. KCEC serves over 29,497 members in Taos, Colfax and Rio Arriba Counties. Formed in 1944, KCEC is the second largest cooperative in the State of New Mexico.
Colorado-based Clean Energy Collective is a developer of community-based renewable energy facilities and a national leader in community power generation. CEC pioneered the model of delivering clean power-generation through large-scale facilities that are collectively owned by participating utility customers. The CEC's proprietary RemoteMeter® system automatically calculates monthly credits and integrates with existing utility billing systems, enabling all utility customers to easily have clean, renewable power credited directly on their monthly utility bills, without modifying their home or office.
CEC has community solar partnerships with many other utilities and is working on dozens of other community solar projects nationally and internationally.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Kit Carson Cooperative Community Solar
Clean Energy Collective