Alpine Bank solar purchases will benefit branches in Aspen, Basalt and Carbondale
May 9, 2014
Two Colorado companies born in the Roaring Fork Valley have teamed up on a renewable-energy commitment.
Alpine Bank agreed to invest roughly $766,000 in community solar farms built by Clean Energy Collective in a deal announced Tuesday. Alpine Bank bought into four different solar farms. Its purchase allowed Clean Energy Collective to sell out its entire 858-kilowatt array in Rifle.
Alpine Bank was launched in Glenwood Springs and now has 37 offices across Colorado. Clean Energy Collective was started in El Jebel and relocated to Boulder and Broomfield because of rapid expansion.
Clean Energy Collective gets approvals for the solar farms and builds them. It sells the actual infrastructure rather than the power it produces. Utility companies, such as Holy Cross Energy in the Roaring Fork Valley, purchase the power produced by the solar farms. The utilities credit customers who buy into the solar farms for their share of the electricity produced.
Alpine Bank's purchase is equal to about 232 kilowatts of clean-power capacity, according to a joint statement from the companies.
"Energy produced from the 932 solar (photovoltaic) panels will offset 34 percent to 100 percent of power use across 21 of Alpine Bank's Colorado locations, including branches and service sites in Aspen, Basalt, Carbondale, Eagle, Avon, Vail, Denver, Steamboat, Ridgway and Telluride," the statement said.
Clean Energy Collective has 23 community solar facilities operating or in development in Colorado. It works with eight utilities in the state. Paul Spencer, the CEO of the company, founded it on the premise that a lot of home and business owners want to invest in solar power but cannot construct panels on-site for one reason or another. Buying into Clean Energy Collective's community solar facilities appealed to the bank because of constraints such as shading, lack of adequate roof space and leased facilities.
Alpine Bank has a Green Team that explores ways to the make the company more environmentally friendly. Its investment in the solar projects will equate to generating 394,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in the first year, eliminating 272 metric tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, the companies' joint statement said.