Despite storn clouds brewing in the west, almost 30 job trainees, students, Empire Electric Association staff, and members of the community volunteered to help install a 21kW community solar garden in Cortez, Colorado last weekend.
This project, in partnership with the Colorado Energy Office and Empire Electric Association, will serve five to 10 low-income qualified Cortez families, offsetting their electric usage and reducing their energy bills. “As a member-owned cooperative, Empire is concerned about the best interests of our members," says Empire General Management Josh Dillenger. "We see this low-income community solar project as an opportunity to positively impact the communities we serve."
Additionally, four students and their teacher came from Montezuma-Cortez High School to volunteer. Teacher Adriana Brungardt brought students from her earth sciences course out to learn about community and land resources. The students enjoyed the positive atmosphere and organization, and expressed hopes that solar energy will continue to gain traction in Southwest Colorado. David, a senior, said "“We’re all working toward the same goals,” he said. “I hope Cortez continues to be involved with this."
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