credit for all photos: ANGELA BURKE from pivot energy
There is something poetic about naming an inspirational project after an inspirational person. Kacie Peters was a dedicated board member of COSSA, and to say we miss her would be a massive understatement. However, her positive impact marches on, and a recent project by her employer Pivot Energy, is a testament to her enduring legacy, the Kacie Peters Community Solar Garden.
What makes this project special enough to bear the name of a human force of good like Kacie? Putting the innovative combination of agrivoltaics, and the Community Solar Garden (CSG) model directly serving communities where it matters most. Not to mention, the beautiful array of solar panels are bi-facial meaning they are working double-time.
The People and Places
Kacie had a knack for lifting people up, and this project is a true reflection of her spirit. The Kacie Peters Community Solar Garden is located on 50 acres is located near the Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora. What sets it apart is its dedication to improving the lives of income-qualified members of the Aurora community right in Pivot Energy’s own backyard.
100% of the energy produced by this solar garden will be provided to low-income households, resulting in significant savings of over the lifetime of the project for approximately 1,000 low-income households. According to Energy Outreach Colorado, one in four Coloradans struggles with high energy burdens, with energy bills consuming up to 20% of their monthly income for households at or below the 80% area median income threshold. This project is not only extraordinary for this community but also represents a much larger initiative.
The Renewable Energy Farm Life
Wise land use and renewable energy development go hand in hand, and the project near Buckley Air Force Base embodies best practices. The concept of agrivoltaics co-locates solar infrastructure with agriculture to optimize land resources while minimizing compromises for community solar gardens and large-scale projects. This solar garden is not just an array of bi-facial panels; it’s a harmonious blend of sustainable practices that includes roughly 80 sheep and 20 bee colonies.
Beyond the benefits of renewable energy, it actively negates the misinformation that surrounds wise land use and renewable energy development that Kacie was extraordinarily good at battling.
The Community Solar Garden Model
According to Pivot Energy, “Community solar projects offer a practical solution for those who want to save money while supporting clean energy generation. By subscribing to a community solar project, utility customers can enjoy savings on their electricity bills through credits or discounts awarded by the utility. These local subscribers benefit from cheap and easy access to renewable energy without needing to install any equipment on their property.” Prioritizing low-income communities with this model puts a bow on this meaningful project.
Pivot Energy’s rededication of their community solar garden in honor of Kacie Peters is a remarkable tribute to a remarkable person. With the announcement last May that Pivot would be developing 41 MW of community solar, serving entirely income-qualified communities across Colorado, this is only the beginning. When it comes to saving the world one renewable energy project at a time, Pivot Energy is setting a high bar, and it warms our hearts to know Kacie’s legacy will continue to echo as long as the sun shines.
Check out Pivot Energy’s website to learn more: