NewsCovering Colorado


“Solar gardens” offer clean energy to more Black Hills Energy customers

Posted at 6:02 PM, Oct 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-15 23:38:01-04

Cleaner energy options will soon be available to more Black Hills Energy customers in Southern Colorado–and it will be powered entirely by wind, solar, and clean natural gas.

Black Hills just completed two more solar gardens, in Rocky Ford and Ordway.

“They’re orientated in a North/South direction, so that they’ll pivot and track the sun east to west. So you maximize production,” explained George Laudenbach, vice President of Engineering Procurement Construction.

The gardens will add a combined 2.5 megawatts of solar power to the utility’s Southern Colorado system.

That would power–on average–about 400 homes.

A ribbon cutting was held in Rocky Ford, Monday morning at the 4th and newest solar garden, that Black Hills Energy is adding to Southern Colorado.

It’s part of a continuing effort to meet Colorado’s Renewable Energy Standard, which requires 30% of renewable energy resources by 2020.

“It allows them to get clean, renewable energy by subscribing to this. It provides them some price stability,” said Black Hills Energy Vice President Vance Crocker.

Black Hills Energy says the gardens are making clean energy more affordable and accessible to their customers.

“It allows for a cheaper cost for the consumer. And they don’t have the cost of putting it on the rooftops and the stress associated with some sort of project either being on site or at their home,” BHE Renewable Energy Manager Devin Moller told News5.

There’s no set price point that BHE was able to give us, because they say each customer’s bill varies.

“What I can say is that it’s a fixed cost over time. And then with all the incentives at the federal level, you’ll see a lot of incentives that are passed down to consumers,” Moller said.

The subscriptions are filled on a first come, first serve basis–which could go fast, based on the trend BHE says they’ve seen so far.

“The solar gardens are filling up as soon as they’re becoming open for subscriptions. It’s definitely something our customer base is interested in,” said Moller.

For more information on a price estimate, and how to subscribe to the solar gardens, click here.