It’s been a little over a year since Mountain Parks Electric (MPE) brought its two commercial solar arrays online – one in Walden and one in Fraser. To date, cumulatively, the 3,600-panel arrays have generated more than 4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. “That’s about $300,000 worth of local green power that we generated locally,” said MPE General Manager Mark Johnston.
The arrays’ solar production offsets approximately 2,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of removing 600 gasoline-powered cars from the road.
“These projects are key additions to Mountain Parks Electric’s renewable portfolio,” said Johnston. “They increase the amount of green power we are delivering to our consumers.” MPE also purchases renewable energy generated from the Granby Dam, the Town of Grand Lake’s micro-hydro recovery project and 200 local net-metered and large solar distributed generation projects.
Also noteworthy: The power cost savings from MPE’s large solar arrays increases over time. Similar to paying off a car loan, the annual operating costs of the solar arrays decrease after the initial investment is financed (in 2032). “Although cost savings for these projects are smaller in the first few years, over their 30-year expected life, we anticipate they will generate significant savings,” Johnston said. “This helps us manage power costs for our consumers while greening up the local power supply.”