Community Solar Program

Through our community solar program, GRID Alternatives Colorado is expanding access to the benefits of solar for families living with low or fixed incomes. GRID, in partnership with cooperative, municipal and investor-owned utilities, is developing the first community solar arrays in the country that exclusively benefit underserved communities, as well as collaborating with for-profit community solar developers to help ensure that the energy generated by their community solar systems are accessible to all.  

Rooftop solar is the most common way for individuals and families to go solar today, but over three-quarters of the country isn’t able to participate in rooftop solar because they rent their home, don’t have a solar-appropriate roof (shaded by a tree for example), or just can’t install rooftop solar for any reason. Community solar is a way for anyone to go solar. Participants get the financial savings and clean energy from the sun as if the solar system was on their roof, but their solar panels are located offsite in a larger, shared community solar array in an area that’s ideally suited for solar energy generation.

With community solar, the panels are not actually on your roof. Your panels will be located on a larger, offsite community solar garden close to where you live.

Over the next two years, the Colorado Energy Office and GRID Alternatives are partnering with five utilities to offer community solar at no out of pocket cost to Colorado families that meet our income qualifications. These utilities are Delta Montrose Electric Association, Holy Cross Energy, San Miguel Power Association, Yampa Valley Electric Association, and Gunnison County Electric Association. To participate, you must have a household income that is at or below 80% of your Area Median Income (Income Limits), and reside within a utility service area in which we are currently offering community solar. In addition to saving you money every month on electricity bills and protecting you from rising electricity prices, community solar provides clean energy and a healthier environment for all our communities.

Ready to find out more? Please have a look at our current community solar projects and partners and the application process below.


Upcoming Community Solar Projects and Partnerships 

San Miguel Power Association Solar Garden

  • Where: Telluride, Colorado
  • System Size: 125kW
  • Families to be served: 25-35 households in SMPA service territory
  • Volunteer Opportunities: December, 2016

Sign up to volunteer online or contact Allison Moe at amoe@gridalternatives.org to learn more!


Application Process

Think you might qualify? Please contact Brandee Cooklin at 303-968-1326 or bcooklin@gridalternatives.org to arrange a preliminary phone screening!

If, after the pre-screen it looks like you will qualify and we're currently offering community solar in your area, the next step is to proceed with a formal application. Please feel free to give us a call or send an email for more general information.


Completed Community Solar Projects and Partnerships

Fort Collins Utilities Rooftop Solar Garden

  • Where: Fort Collins, Colorado
  • System Size: 65 kW 
  • Families to be served: approximately 20 households in Fort Collins service territory

Yampa Valley Solar Garden

  • Where: Steamboat Springs, Colorado
  • System Size: 125kW
  • Families to be served: 25-35 households in Yampa Valley service territory

Holy Cross Solar Garden

  • Where: Glenwood Springs, Colorado
  • System Size: 150 kW
  • Families to be served: 30-45 households in Holy Cross service territory

Delta Montrose Electric Association Solar Garden

  • Where: Montrose, Colorado
  • System Size: 150 kW
  • Families to be Served: 30-45 households in DMEA service territory

Empire Electric Association Solar Garden

  • Where: Cortez, Colorado
  • System Size: 26kW
  • Families Served: 5-10 households in Empire Electric service territory

GRID Alternatives/Grand Valley Power Solar Garden

  • Where: Grand Junction, Colorado
  • System Size: 29 kW 
  • Families Served: 8 households in Grand Valley Power service territory 

Sunshare’s Jefferson County Solar Garden

  • Where: Jefferson County, Colorado
  • System Size: Through a partnership with Sunshare, 75 kW of the array has been dedicated to income-qualified residents
  • Families Served: Solar subscriptions have been assigned to 20 GRID clients in Xcel service territory

Regional News

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Scott Chapman started volunteering with GRID’s San Diego office after retiring from the Marine Corps. “I was... Read more ›
GRID’s Workforce Development Manager, Allison Moe, got an unexpected trip down memory lane this month. Read more ›
GRID Alternatives' community solar project developed in partnership with the Yampa Valley Electric Association... Read more ›
On Thursday September 22nd, twelve solar job trainees came together with hiring managers from four solar... Read more ›
Guest blog from Programs Assistant, Lillian Chen. Read more ›