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Laurel Ellis

CEC customer Laurel Ellis

Laurel Ellis heard about the Putney Community Solar Array being constructed up Bellows Falls Road, less than four miles from her home. “I thought it was a great idea,” she said. Any residential, commercial, municipal or nonprofit customer of Vermont’s largest utility, Green Mountain Power, was eligible to buy panels in the 144 kilowatt (kW) array. Developed by Clean Energy Collective ... Read More »

Utility Partner: Holy Cross Energy


An electric cooperative on Colorado’s Western Slope was the first utility in the U.S. to give community-owned solar a chance in 2010. Four years and 2.6 megawatts (MW) later, it was a decision that helped revolutionize the way individuals and businesses go solar nationwide. A member-owned cooperative, Holy Cross Energy (HCE) provides electricity to more than 55,000 ratepayers throughout Eagle, ... Read More »

Alpine Bank

Alpine Bank in Colorado

Founded in 1973 in Carbondale, Colo., Alpine Bank is an employee-owned community bank with 37 locations statewide. After surveying owners and discovering that environmental preservation was an important value, the bank founded a “Green Team” and established sustainability initiatives. In 2008, the locally-operated bank committed to purchasing 100% of its electricity from clean energy sources. “If we’re going to protect our lifestyle and our ... Read More »

Jessica Turner

Jessica Turner

Jessica Turner wanted to go solar, but didn’t want to have a solar array installed in the roof of her Putney, Vermont home.  She learned about community solar gardens through Putney native Nick Ziter, founder of SunFarm Community Solar, which teamed up with Clean Energy Collective (CEC) to develop a 144 kW shared solar facility. Constructed on Bellows Fall Road, ... Read More »

Jenny Sumner Heeter

Jeffco Community Solar Array

An energy analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Jenny Sumner Heeter wanted to support the development of solar energy. “When I bought a house three years ago, I contacted solar developers, who all indicated that my roof had too much shade to make solar financially viable,” Heeter said. Through her work in renewable energy, the Golden, Colo. resident learned ... Read More »

Chris Myers and enLIGHTen


Chris Myers of Telluride, Colo. is in the business of light. He wanted to use the sun’s rays to power his lighting design boutique, enLIGHTen, but was unable to install solar panels on his business property — nor could he install a solar array on his condo. “I’m a do-it-yourselfer and would like to have put a system on my ... Read More »

Lawrence O’Neill and Craig Peterson

Vermont community solar

Lawrence O’Neill and Craig Peterson discovered that their Great Meadows Ridge property in Putney, Vermont was not properly sited for a solar photovoltaic (PV) installation. “Yet, we wanted to benefit from solar,” Lawrence said. They learned about the Putney Community Solar Array, a 144 kW shared solar facility available to ratepayers in Green Mountain Power’s service area. Developed by Clean Energy ... Read More »

David Schmidt

David Schmidt

For a year, David Schmidt of Corcoran, Minnesota contemplated installing a residential solar electric system installed on his property.  But the commitment to spending thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars on a personal solar array was daunting. “I wasn’t ready to jump into a private installation,” David said. “It was too expensive.” Through his local utility, Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric ... Read More »

Bennet Petry

Bennet in Vermont

Bennet Petry watched as farmers around Putney and the rural areas of Vermont began installing large solar arrays. “We have a lot of organic farmers in this area, and they were probably the first to do it,” Bennet recalled. “It just became very visual. That generated interest all over the place.” His curiosity piqued as well. Now retired, Bennet began ... Read More »

Town of Breckenridge

Town of Breckenridge

Committed to achieving environmental, economic and social sustainability, the Town of Breckenridge has engaged it citizens and developed a plan to sustain its community for 2030 and beyond. One tactic is to reduce the mountain town’s carbon footprint by utilizing more renewable energy. “Solar gardens are a financially beneficial way to reduce that footprint,” said the Town’s Financial Services Manager Brian ... Read More »