At the Cowdrey Meadows garden in Boulder, Colorado, there are no trees or flowers, but large panels of glass. Called a solar garden, proponents said they’re more affordable and better for the environment than conventional sources of power. CCTV America’s Hendrik Sybrandy reported this story from Boulder.
Solar gardens offer new alternative to panelsAt the Cowdrey Meadows garden in Boulder, Colorado, there are no trees or flowers, but large panels of glass. Called a solar garden, proponents said they're more affordable and better for the environment than conventional sources of power. CCTV America's Hendrik Sybrandy reported this story from Boulder.
Amadeus Consulting in Boulder sees sunshine 300 days of the year, which is about how often traditional power-consuming devices are turned on there.
Because the building that the company works out of forbids rooftop solar panels, the company opted to create a solar garden a 15-minute drive away.
“When you’re a tenant and you’re renting, you really don’t have a lot of options. All of a sudden I became aware of this new option of a solar garden,” John Basso, chief information officer for Amadeus Consulting said.
The garden uses 2,200 panels to provide power to 60 residential and commercial customers in Boulder.
“They don’t have to do anything. They don’t have to install anything on their roof. It’s accessible to anyone with an electric bill, and just as important, it’s financially smart,” vice president of product development at the Clean Energy Collective David Wiedinmyer said.
Customers buy solar panels for about $900 each from Clean Energy Collective. The electricity generated goes to the customers’ current utility use which then gives them credits on their bills based on the panels’ production. Eventually, the customers will recoup their initial investment.
“In some ways, you’re pre-paying your bills, and for that, you not only get to do a good thing, but you get a pretty good discount,” Bass said.
The Clean Energy Collective tends to gardens in eight U.S. states, and it’s expanding, allowing people to profit off of the sun. There are now dozens of community solar gardens around the U.S.