Basalt’s Spencer honored by Ernst & Young as solar entrepreneur
Basalt-area native and Clean Energy Collective founder Paul Spencer received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 Award for his innovations in community solar projects.
Spencer was recognized in the Services category in the Mountain Desert Region. He received the award recently at a ceremony at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. As a regional semifinalist, he will be eligible for the national Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 award. Winners will be announced Nov. 14.
The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award honors the contribution of the men and women who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. Spencer was selected by an independent panel of judges from a field of several thousand of the best and brightest entrepreneurs throughout Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico who have demonstrated excellence and success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
Spencer launched Clean Energy Collective in 2009 in El Jebel and grew the solar start-up into the world leader in roofless community solar projects. The company pioneered the model of developing centralized solar farms that customers can buy into. The key to the firm’s success was developing software that helps the utility companies easily track the portion of energy production of each owner’s share, and giving them credit. It is an alternative to individual rooftop solar systems.
The company has three projects in the Aspen region and a total of 90 projects with 21 utility partners. It relocated to the Front Range as it grew.
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State department of transportation crews are well on their way to clearing Highway 82 to Independence Pass, which should open on schedule May 27 at noon.