DENVER – Denver-headquartered community solar pioneer SunShare, is building two new projects totaling 8.2 MW of solar power. The new solar gardens in Saint Michael and Zumbro Falls, MN, will serve approximately 1,200 households. Community solar is the fastest growing segment of the solar industry according to a recent report by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI).
“We’ve been building community solar gardens for almost a decade to make solar energy accessible and affordable to everyone. Securing construction financing through our own balance sheet is a critical proof point that speaks to the bankability of SunShare and its residential-focused community solar model,” said David Amster-Olszewski, SunShare’s founder and CEO. “With the support of partners like ANB Bank, we’ll be able to continue to execute on our pipeline of community solar projects and expand the power of clean energy choice to even more communities across the country.”
The two projects will consist of six total community solar gardens, which will serve approximately 1,200 households in Carver, Wabasha, and adjacent counties, as well as Saint Mary’s University. Subscribers will begin receiving the benefits of clean solar power as well as credits on their Xcel Energy utility bills for energy generated by the gardens once the interconnection process is completed in late 2018 or early 2019.
“SunShare’s substantial track record in community solar and its dedication to quality in the development and construction of their community solar gardens is a benefit to subscribers. We are proud to partner with them in building more clean generation, no-carbon electricity choices for Minnesota,” said Eric Millard, CCO of Conti Solar.
Competitive community solar programs got their start with a 2 MW pilot program in Colorado Springs in 2011 and are now the fastest growing sector of the solar industry according to a 2018 report released by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). Community solar programs and/or regulations now exist in 19 states with overall program capacity in the gigawatts.
ANB Bank has 30 banking centers located in Colorado, Wyoming, and the Kansas City metro area. Its parent company, Sturm Financial Group, Inc. is headquartered in Denver, CO, and its $2.6 billion in assets rank it in the top six percent of banks nationwide by size.
“ANB prides itself on serving local communities and we’re pleased to finance this project that will provide the benefits of solar to individuals and families in Minnesota,” commented Bob Lynn, senior vice president at ANB Bank. “We support energy projects that directly and positively impact the municipalities in which they are located.”