• LPEA contributes to Southwest Horizons Ranch/Habitat solar projects

    Board of Directors votes to fund efforts that support low-income residents

    The La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) Board of Directors, during its regular board meeting, June 15, 2016, voted to contribute up to $35,000 in support of proposed photovoltaic (PV) solar installations at Southwest Horizons Ranch and a Habitat for Humanity home in Bayfield. The projects are being administered by the Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency (4CORE).

    Funds will come from LPEA’s Local Renewable Generation Fund (aka the “Local Green Power” projects program). As noted in LPEA Board Policy 361, the fund’s objective is “to support and encourage the advancement, development, and installation of renewable generation projects in the service territory and region utilizing voluntary renewable generation funds from participating members.”

    “We’ve been concerned with the inability of our lower income families to participate in solar energy, specifically because of the cost,” said Davin Montoya, LPEA board president. “They’re our members who can benefit the most from local renewable electricity generation, so we’re very pleased to be able to invest money from the Local Renewable Generation Fund in the projects.”

    LPEA’s donation will specifically fund purchase of materials/equipment (solar panels, conduit, etc.) involved in the solar projects. The Board granted $25,000 up-front, with a commitment to grant 4CORE an additional $10,000, contingent on a “match” from additional community entities.

    The project at Southwest Horizons Ranch, a low-income, rental housing development owned by Housing Solutions of Southwest Colorado, is expected to involve installation of a 15-20 kW ground-mounted solar system that will provide power for the subdivision’s water system, and ultimately reduce the utility bills in the 61 households. The Habitat home in Bayfield is expected to receive a 5 kW PV system.

    LPEA members have the option to contribute to local renewable generation projects per the Local Renewable Rate Tariff RL19. Any amount can be donated, and monthly contributions appear on members’ electric bills. As specified in the policy, these donated dollars must be distributed to local renewable generation projects or go toward the purchase of local Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

    Contact LPEA, 970.247.5786, for additional information, or sign up for the Green Power program via the LPEA website.

    For further information on the solar projects, contact 4CORE at 970.259.1916.

    LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with nearly 42,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible. For additional information, visit www.lpea.coop.