Buffs Community Solar

What is Buffs Community Solar?

Buffs Community Solar is a University sponsored solar bulk buy program that spreads the mission of solar throughout specific University affiliated groups. In addition, it helps accomplishes the following goals:

1. Allows specific University affiliated groups to obtain bulk buy discounts on solar for their homes and businesses. Pricing and discounts are pre negotiated to ensure everyone who participates in the program receives the same discounts.
2. By participating in the program, residents and businesses donate their renewable energy credits (REC’s) to the University to help meet renewable and sustainability goals.

Buffs Community Solar program also helps educate faculty, alumni, students, and others about the benefits of solar, how to successfully implement a solar project, and how solar benefits the local community.

Community solar programs have been responsible for the installation of hundreds of KW of solar, millions of dollars of savings for program participants, and millions of kWh of renewable power throughout the U.S.

Which University Groups Can Participate?

Associated groups include the following:
• Alumni
• Faculty
• Employees
• Students & Immediate Family of Students
• Donors
• Athletics Season Ticket Holders
• Employees of University Sponsors

Please be sure to list your group when you sign up for a consultation.

What is the Process to Participate in Buffs Community Solar?

1. Fill out the form with your information, roof type, and utility information.
2. A Buffs Community Solar consultant will prepare an informational packet with details on your roof, electric usage, and proposed solar array.
3. Your consultant will schedule a site visit to inspect the property and review the informational packet.
4. Upon your desire to proceed with the program, appropriate paperwork will be prepared with the Solar Contractor – Solaroo Energy, financing company (if applicable), and your electric utility.
5. The project will then commence by obtaining the necessary building permits and approvals from your municipality and electric utility.
6. Once the approvals are obtained, installation will be scheduled. Actual installation usually takes 1-2 days.
7. Upon passed city inspection, the electric utility will set your net meter.
8. Once the net meter has been installed, your system is ready to turn on and produce.

FAQ

What is the timeline for Buffs Community Solar?

The program will run from July 1, 2018 through May 31st 2019.  All signed contracts must be executed before the end date.

How long will the installation take?

The actual solar installation usually takes only 1-2 days.  The entire process from the time the contract is signed until you are producing solar power can vary from 2-5 months, mainly depending on your local utility’s net metering approval process, and your local building permit process.  Those two steps are the bulk of the time commitment.

Should I donate my Renewable Energy Credits to the University?

REC’s for an individual residence don’t carry much, if any, value. You will still get all the energy produced by your system, and any net metering credits for overproduction. These two components of solar are what allow you to save money. REC’s are used by gov’t entities, for example, to offset carbon uses of their facilities. Some state and federal entities have sustainability goals for which they purchase REC’s on the open market in order to help them achieve those goals. For the University of Colorado, REC’s are valuable. For you, the bulk discount on solar is far more valuable.

What solar products are available with BCS?

A choice of solar panels is available, depending on preference, including high efficiency panels to value models, each with different warranties. Your solar consultant can present different options during your consultation.

How do I know how big of a system I will need, or if solar is viable for my house?

During your initial consultation, your consultant will size the system to your electric usage, and inspect the home to see if solar would be a viable project on the house.  Additional inspections and measurements will be taken after the contract is signed in order to give the city and utility necessary information for permitting and approval.

What kind of maintenance will I need to do for my solar?

Solar is very low maintenance.  There is no regular maintenance needed for your system.  The system will produce if it has unobstructed access to the sun.  Dirt, dust, debris, shade, snow, and other obstacles can impede your production, but only if these obstacles are excessive.  Snow usually melts off fairly quickly because of the black, pitched nature of the panels.  Dirt and dust usually are washed away with precipitation.  Trees occasionally need to be trimmed, and shading monitored.

Is solar financing available?

Yes.  Financing options are available through Solaroo Energy, the solar contractor administering BCS.  All financing is done through third party lenders and credit approval is necessary.

How does the BCS price for solar compare in Colorado?

The average cost for solar in 2017 in Colorado ranged from $3.12 per watt to $3.58 per watt.  The BCS price is a significant discount from this range.  Your exact price will be determined by the type of panel you choose, your permitting fees charged by the city, and any utility fees imposed for the net metering approval.  Your solar consultant will present you your exact price during your consultation.

Will the installation of a commercial solar system qualify for BCS?

Yes.  As long as you belong to one of the University groups, you can qualify, however, there might be some restrictions to the program depending on your commercial property.  Contact Solaroo Energy for details.

How will my custom solar quote be prepared?

Solaroo Energy uses software that links to PV Watts, a solar calculator developed and used by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) to factor in weather patterns, tilt, azimuth, shading, system losses, and other factors to estimate your production, and how many panels your home will need.  You will receive a copy of this analysis for your records.