GCEA’s Community Solar Garden is a way for you to support and benefit from electricity generated by solar energy. Members are eligible to lease solar panels.
Solar Garden Locations
Crested Butte - Town of Crested Butte's wastewater treatment plant - SOLD OUT! Please call 970-641-3520 for the waiting list.
Gunnison - GCEA headquarters hindquarters building (under construction)
This project is fully subscribed, but we are taking names for a waiting list and anticipate offering something similar to another project in the near future. As panels become available at this project they will be offered to the next-in-line on the waiting list under either of the following options. Please call us at (970) 641-3520 to get on the waiting list.
How Long is the Lease?
OPTION #1 – Short-Term Lease:
Solar panels may be leased on a month-to-month basis. The solar panel lease price is $4.71 per month, offered in monthly increments from the 1st to the end of the month. The solar panel lease price, along with the community solar garden credit for generation, will appear on your bill, beginning the month following the signup. For example, the credit for generation from October 1-31 will show on your November bill. To allow more members to participate, there is a 5-panel limit per member. We will accommodate members wishing to lease a solar panel by contacting them when a panel becomes available or when we expand the solar array.
OPTION #2 – Long-Term Lease:
GCEA has a 20-year lease with the town of Crested Butte, which began November 2018. That means if you were to lease a panel starting in January of 2020, you would only be leasing that panel for 18 years and 10 months. The price of the lease will be prorated depending on when the panel is leased. The full twenty-year price is $850. View the Community Solar Garden Agreement (PDF) for more details or call our headquarters office at 1-800-726-3523 or 970-641-3520 and ask for Roger Grogg or Josie Casebolt.
How is My Solar Production Credit Calculated?
The Solar Garden consists of 20-250 watt solar panels and 52-290 watt solar panels. All generation will be metered. If you lease one panel your bill offset will be a bill credit of 1/72nd of the total production. For example, if the Solar Garden produces 660 kWh in May then 660/72=9.167 kWh. The Solar Garden Rate (SGR), which will closely resemble the residential rate, will equal the bill credit. Example 9.167 kWh x $0.13 = $1.20. The (SGR) will increase as GCEA’s rates increase over the years allowing for a larger credit to your electric bill.
What About Maintenance?
GCEA is responsible for all maintenance and insurance for the Solar Garden.
Can I sell My Panel Lease?
The only way you can transfer the panel lease is through GCEA. As long as you reside in and are paying for electric service in GCEA’s territory, the lease will not be transferred and the bill credit will be applied to your active GCEA account. If you relocate outside GCEA’s territory, you can transfer the solar credits to someone that still resides in the service territory. GCEA will not repurchase the solar lease from you.
If you choose the monthly lease option, you may cancel at the beginning of any month.