Green Business: Buy a Solar Panel in a “Solar Garden”

It’s a beautiful thing when the right thing is the easiest (and cheapest) thing.

Here’s a new idea (to me):  It’s called a “Solar Garden.”

Think of it as a community garden for renewable energy.

The energy company puts up solar panels, you buy one, and each month you receive credit for the power generated by “your” panel off your bill.

Via doe.gov and WindsorBeacon.com:

Solar garden planned for Poudre Valley REA

The project will encompass more than 400 solar panels generating 115,000 watts of electricity.

. . .

The solar garden concept allows all consumers to participate in 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, and reap the benefits directly on their monthly electric bills through the utility.

What I love most is that this is a joint venture between a for-profit company that facilitates replicable, scalable clean power generation with real-time Smart Meters,  and a not-for-profit member-owned electric power cooperative.

Upsides:

1. Fair, Affordable, Accessible: Levels the playing field for renters, low-income folks, and those with non-solar-friendly homes.

2. Consistent Production: Colorado receives 300 days of sunshine a year for dependable generation.

3. Load Responsive: System generates more energy during times of peak demand (hot summer days).

4. Scalable: The utility has space and ability to grow with demand.

5. Aligned Interests: Both entities and consumers have skin in the game to produce the most clean energy for the lowest cost.

Win. Win. Win.