Solar array will power low-income homes |

Solar array will power low-income homes

Matt Stensland

— Work is under way to build a new solar array in Steamboat Springs that will benefit low-income residents.

Yampa Valley Electric Association is building the array with support from GRID Alternatives and the Colorado Energy Office.

Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to attend the ribbon cutting event Sept. 16.

The solar array is being built at the YVEA headquarters on Elk River Road in Steamboat.

With 30 arrays, the facility is planned as a 148-kilowatt system to be placed on .185 acres. By comparison, YVEA’s solar array in Craig is 577 kilowatts.

The project has received approval from the city’s planning department.

Four other electric associations are participating in the low-income solar array program. Collectively, they will be able to produce 579 kilowatts, and GRID hopes it will provide power for 150 homes.

The Colorado Energy Office awarded GRID Alternatives a $1.2 million grant to implement low-income community solar and to partner with electricity providers.

YVEA General Manager Diane Johnson has said the association thinks the project is an innovative approach to deploying renewable energy, while also helping reduce energy costs for members with lower incomes.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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