Sopris Solar workers begin installation of part of a 19.5 kW solar system made up of five arrays, including a 6.2 kW array on this south roof of our Highline Crossing Cohousing Community Common House. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]

blog logoThe cohousing community that I live in — Highline Crossing Cohousing — here in Littleton, Colo. is FINALLY getting solar after a one-year wait for the installation and, prior to that, 18 months of me, and several other residents here in this community, working toward persuading our community to add a 20 kW solar system.

Sopris Solar began installation of the system on Wed., June 10, 2020 and it was completed on June 27, 2020.

The five-array system with 63 310-watt solar panels, some of which will be on the roof of a garage block and the other of which will be placed on the roof our community center, which we call ‘The Common House’ here at HCC, will produce 120% of our electricity use in our community center and in our garages 😎.

Sopris solar worker on garage roof

A Sopris Solar worker installs a racking system on our garages at Highline Crossing Cohousing Community on Thurs., June 11. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]

That means that my 2020 Chevy Bolt will once again be a solar-charged EV, as will the 2017 Nissan LEAF that one of my neighbors here owns. The hope is that other residents will now move to an electric car now that we have our own community solar gas station, and will be over-producing electricity.

Some of that over-production, which we will be “banking” indefinitely with our utility, Xcel Energy, might also in the future go toward, among other things, electric water heaters, which we will hopefully elect to buy when we need to replace our gas hot water heaters in the Common House.

Our extra banked kWh might also perhaps, if we generate enough banked extra kWh, which I strongly suspect we will, go toward an electric furnace whenever we need to replace the natural gas furnace in the community house!

I hope you enjoy the installation slideshow below! I am so happy that we finally have solar here at Highline Crossing and it is interesting that it is being installed, 10 years to the month, that a 5.5 kW home solar system was installed on a home I lived in in Aurora, Colo. with my now ex-wife and two daughters, who, back in 2010, were five and three years old and who are now well into teen-hood 😉

Populating the world with more solar is what I am all about! Not only have I helped populate more solar directly, I have a strong feeling that SolarChargedDriving.Com, which I have now run for more than 10 years, has also helped to encourage more than a few people to go solar!

Solar power rocks, here in Littleton, Colo., in Aurora, Colo. on the roof of my old home, which still is running on solar energy even though someone else has lived there for five years now, and everywhere and anywhere in the world it has been, and is being, installed.

100% renewable energy world, Here we Come!

2 Responses

  1. Tabot (@AzZenCyclist)

    Congrats and thanks for your persistence! Why did it take 18 months to convince the residents to go solar? What obstacles did you encounter? When I installed my system in Arizona, I had a 9 year payoff so it was an easy decision.

    Reply
    • Christof Demont-Heinrich

      My cohousing community makes decisions based on what i find to be a favor the tyranny of the minority approach. Three households out of 40 can block something like a proposal to go solar. It took A LONG time and 6 different meetings across 8 months to get to the point where 3 households would not block us spending long term reserve funds on solar. 75% of people here were strongly in favor of solar — but in a tyranny of the minority tilted system, you have to convince that other 25%, or nothing will happen 🙄

      Obstacles were typical and predictable:

      1) Solar costs too much (ROI was ignored by these folks)
      2) Solar is ugly (heaping mounds of coal in train cars is uglier, as is the damage the burning of coal does to human health and the environment).

      We did do it, though, we overcame the 10% who were strongly opposed, and while they did not vote to go solar, they basically stood back and abstained and did not block it because, I think, they realized that 80% of their neighbors REALLY wanted to go solar!

      Reply

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