Boulder Subscribes to Innovative Longmont-Based Community Solar Garden
The City of Boulder today announced that has subscribed to Jack’s Solar Garden, a 1.2-megawatt solar garden currently under construction near Longmont.
Jack’s Solar Garden is a first-of-its-kind solar development that will bring together energy and food production to local farmland, a combination called agrivoltaics. The garden will feature solar panels to provide power for more than 300 homes, food crops and pollinator gardens, and will provide a space for community education, arts and scientific research on the benefits of co-locating solar and agriculture. Jack’s Solar Garden will feature live crops and test how the protective cover and cooling shade of solar panels can improve agricultural production.
The subscription purchased by the city will provide electricity savings for residents of the Ponderosa Mobile Home Park as a part of the city’s solar for manufactured housing pilot project. The city is able to make this purchase with fees collected through the city’s Energy Impact Offset Fund.
“We are pleased to support such an innovative solar development in Boulder County and provide solar access to more Boulder community members,” said city solar project manager, Yael Gichon. “We think this project can help demonstrate new approaches to leveraging our agricultural lands, supporting healthy ecosystems and keeping land in the hands of local farmers through solar development.”
“It’s wonderful to have the City of Boulder as subscriber to Jack’s Solar Garden,” said Byron Kominek, co-owner of Jack’s Solar Garden. “We hope to be a model for other small farms that want to keep their soils productive while taking advantage of the economic benefits that clean energy production can provide.”
Boulder residents continue to demonstrate their climate leadership with nearly 20 MW of solar already installed on homes throughout the community. Solar gardens give solar access to those who may not be able to benefit from rooftop solar, such as renters, people with shared roofs and those residing in manufactured housing. Support for community solar gardens is aligned with the city’s long-term local solar strategy and through this investment, the city hopes to help more of the community share the benefits of local solar. Boulder’s subscription for 4% of the garden’s annual production will provide electricity savings for up to 20 Ponderosa households.
Jack’s Solar Garden is accepting applications for additional subscribers at jackssolargarden.com.
Published: August 18, 2020
Emily Sandoval, City of Boulder, 970-210-1225
Byron Kominek, Jack’s Solar Garden, 970-344-8066