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The City of Boulder Signs Agreements to Bring 2.75 Megawatts of Solar to City Facilities

The installations require no up-front capital from the city and are expected net $1.4 million in savings over 30 years.  

On April 16, the Boulder City Council authorized lease agreements that will add 2.75 megawatts of solar capacity to city-owned properties, bringing the city’s total solar portfolio to 6.45 megawatts and reducing the city organization’s emissions by 6%.

The solar installations, which the city plans to complete by the end of 2019, support the city’s efforts to bring local renewable generation to the community and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity generation.

“Climate change is, without a doubt, one of the most urgent issues we face,” said Yael Gichon, the city’s Senior Energy Project Manager. “We have the technology, resources, and window of time to transition to a clean energy economy, but we need to move quickly. The additional solar we’ve planned is a step towards that transition, and a represents real cost savings for the organization. It’s a win-win.”

“Unico is thrilled to partner with the City of Boulder to develop 14 solar energy projects which demonstrate real progress toward the city’s goal to operate on 100% renewable energy by 2030,” said Adam Knoff, Associate Director of Unico Solar Investors. “This innovative partnership, which combines Boulder’s leadership in sustainability with Unico’s solar energy expertise, will bring low-cost clean energy to Boulder for the next several decades at no cost to taxpayers.”    

Planned Installations

  • 63rd Street Water Treatment Plant: 806 kW
  • 75th St. Water Resource Recovery Facility: 499 kW
  • Boulder Reservoir Visitor Center: 66 kW
  • East Boulder Community Center: 73 kW
  • Fire Station 1: 32 kW
  • Fire Station 5: 12 kW
  • Fire Station 7: 15 kW
  • Fire Station 8 and Fire Training Center: 141 kW
  • Iris Center: 40 kW
  • North Boulder Recreation Center: 120 kW
  • 15th and Pearl Parking Garage: 281 kW
  • Public Safety Building and Carport: 455 kW
  • 11th and Spruce Parking Garage: 218 kW

To select and design the solar installation sites, the city engaged in a collaborative purchasing process across city departments and employed a buyer’s agent to gain market expertise, procurement assistance, economies of scale and other economic benefits.

Under the agreements, the city will lease the proposed solar panel installation sites to a third-party owner, Unico Solar Investors and purchase the solar output of the systems through separate Power Purchase Agreements. The site lease agreements leverage a third-party ownership model for solar whereby an investor can capitalize on federal tax benefits that are unavailable to the city. The city will receive the benefits through the purchase of solar power, without requiring up-front capital.

About the city’s Climate Commitment

Preserving the health and sustainability of our climate has been valued by the Boulder community for decades. Boulder’s Climate Commitment outlines the city’s areas of action: energy, resources and ecosystems and sets targets that include:

  • 100% Renewable Electricity by 2030
  • 80% City Organization Emissions Reduction by 2030
  • 100 MW of Local Renewable Generation by 2030
  • 80% Community Emissions Reduction by 2050


Learn more about the city’s Climate Commitment, targets and progress at

About Unico Solar Investors

Unico Solar Investors is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unico Investment Group that develops, owns, and operates solar energy systems for Unico’s real estate portfolio and for third-party clients. Unico Solar Investors develops solar energy portfolios that provide long-term, low-cost clean energy to a diversified mix of electricity consumers that include utilities, commercial and industrial buildings, businesses, and educational facilities. For more information, visit

Published: April 17, 2019 

Media Contacts:

Emily Sandoval, Climate Initiatives, 303-441-1927

Jack Noftsger, Unico Solar Investors, 206-346-3036