a solar EV in front of a garage with solar panels
My 2020 Chevy Bolt parked in front of the solar system that fuels it. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]

Cranking out extra solar kWh at Highline Crossing Cohousing in Colorado

The Xcel Energy meter that is attached to 30 shared garage units at Highline Crossing Cohousing in Littleton, Colo. It shows about 4,000 extra kWh produced by a 9.3 kW solar system on the shared garages despite two EVs being plugged in full time and a third one having been added recently. Highline Crossing Cohousing can be proud of the green energy that it is stockpiling, and using to fuel an increasing number of EVs in the community locally. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]
Producing extra solar electricity annually while also charging three electric vehicles = priceless! And super green!

That’s what we’re doing at Highline Crossing Cohousing Community in Littleton, Colo. ๐Ÿ™‚โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ‘

blog logoWe’ve had a 9.3 kW solar system on our community garages at Highline Crossing Cohousing Community in Littleton, Colo., since November 2020. In the year and a half since then, with two electric vehicles charging full time on this solar system, one of these being my 2020 Chevy Bolt,ย and, over the last two months, a third EV having been added, we have produced 4,000 more kWh than we have used in about 18 months.

That’s pretty darn good, considering that 4,000 kWh is enough to drive another 16,000 miles, at a 4 miles/kWh average.

I am very proud of this fact, from an environmental perspective.

At around the same time, in late 2020, Highline Crossing Cohousing added a 10.3 kW system to our Common House rooftop. That system has produced about 7,800 kWh more than we have used across about 18 months.

Shane of Sopris Solar lays a panel on the 20-panel array on the south roof of the HCC Common House in Summer 2020. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]
Although no cars are plugged into our Common House, we have a swamp cooler running there along with may other electric appliances. Hopefully, our community will electrify as we, over time, have to replace gas appliances that age out such as hot water heaters and gas stoves and ovens as well as our gas forced hot air system.

When Highline Crossing Cohousing electrifies, we will be very well set up to draw upon the extra banked kWh that we have generated by over-producing with our 10.3 kW system for multiple years.

In addition, the extra solar production that occurs on our garage rooftops and on Common House rooftop helps to significantly green our local grid in this community of six buildings and 40 units with about 120 people overall in them.

I am very proud of the fact that we have a much greener local grid than we used to here in our Littleton, Colo. cohousing community.

We also have a set-up here at Highline Crossing whereby EV owners like myself and the other two families with EVs pay 10 cents/kWh back to the community for the electricity we use in the solar-topped community garages, because we use a lot more electricity than other in the garages.

I am proud to say that we EV owners at Highline Crossing since late Fall 2020 have paid $848.23 back to the community and back toward the installation of the 9.3 kW solar system. That money would have otherwise been going to Xcel Energy, our utility. Now, it goes back directly into the community and supports a good and green cause, our own community owned rooftop solar system!

Finally, I recently added a 6 kW solar system to my townhome roof via ARE Solar of Boulder here at Highline Crossing and we have a neighbor who will soon add another 5 kW system. Finally, a third neighbor is going to add a 6+ kW system as well and would like to add another EV to our fleet of three, this one directly connected to her own home meter — the shared garages with 30 slots upon which the 9.3 kW solar system sits share a single community garages meter.

Me, Christof Demont-Heinrich, standing with my 6 kW home solar system in the background at Highline Crossing Cohousing after it went online in mid-June 2022. It has already produced more than 1 megawatt of solar electricity for me — and greened my neighbors’ electric use as well. [Photo by Christof Demont-Heinrich]
So, the neighborhood is becoming greener and greener thanks in part to me and my solar-evangelism, which I brought here five years ago — AND thanks to the amazing help that I got from several other neighbors, without whom our solar efforts here would not have succeeded.

Historically, I also added 6 kW of home solar to an Aurora, Colo. single family home that I and my now ex wife sold in 2015 due to divorce.

It is admittedly a small amount of solar — about 43 kW — for which I can say I am at least indirectly responsible for having added across the last 12 years. However, every little bit counts, and I am proud of my contributions, as well of this web site, SolarChargedDriving.Com, which I have managed to keep going for 13 years through some great times in my life and some very challenging ones as well, including the last few. ๐Ÿ™‚โ˜€๏ธ

Home solar and solar + EV rocks, it really does, and it always has, for 13 years and running for me.

Take care everyone, and keep on the home solar and solar-charged driving cause. It is a worthy one! โ˜€๏ธโ˜€๏ธโ˜€๏ธ

–Christof Demont-Heinrich
Editor & Founder, SolarChargedDriving.Com