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New community solar gardens will help lower energy costs for Denver Public Schools families

First two of eleven community gardens opens at National Western Complex
Denver's Community Solar Gardens
Posted at 3:40 PM, Oct 24, 2022

DENVER — The City of Denver is partnering with Denver Public Schools to lower energy bills for families by forming community solar gardens.

The first two gardens opened at the new National Western Complex on Oct. 20. City leaders said the goal is to create eleven gardens across the city.

“Denver residents are clear that they want their city to act urgently to address climate change. And we are,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said. “Investing in community solar gardens improves air quality and reduces emissions.”

Over the next year, the city will complete the construction of solar gardens at these 11 locations:

  • National Western Center Stockyards Events Center — 5004 Packing Housing Road, Denver, CO, 80216
  • National Western Center M&O Building, 5125 Race Court, Denver, CO, 80216
  • Lowry Tennis Courts, 8100 E. Lowry Blvd., Denver, CO, 80230
  • Harvard Gulch Recreation Center, 550 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver, CO, 80210
  • Northeast Early College, 11200 E. 45th Ave., Denver, CO, 80239
  • Roslyn Campus Maintenance Facilities, 5440 Roslyn Street, Denver, CO, 80216
  • Denver Airport (Two Arrays), E. 114th Ave. and Trussville Street, Denver, CO, 80249
  • Central Park Recreation Center, 9651 M.L.K. Jr. Boulevard, Denver, CO, 80238
  • Montbello Recreation Center, 15555 E. 53rd Ave., Denver, CO, 80239
  • Denver Botanic Gardens – Chatfield Farms, 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Road, Littleton, CO, 80128

The power generated from these solar gardens will go to help DPS families in need.
“We think that once all 11 arrays are energized, meaning they’re all up and running, we will have the number of subscriptions available to provide at least 300 families with bill reduction assistance,” said Grace Rink, Denver’s Chief Climate Officer.

“It will reduce their electrical bills by 30%," Rink continued.

This is a $26 million investment being made by the City of Denver from the Climate Protection Fund. The fund was approved by voters back in 2020.

DPS’s Director of Sustainability said projects like this are built on ideas coming directly from students.

“With the students coming forward and urging leadership to create a policy around climate action, we have developed a climate action plan, which the students have been involved with, and will continue to be involved with over the years,” said LeeAnn Kittle, Director of Sustainability for Denver Public Schools.

Kittle said the district is working to identify families who may need assistance, and the district has identified 70 families so far.

According to the City of Denver, families who are approved to receive energy bill assistance will see the reduced payment automatically reflected on their monthly bill. It will not come in the form of a rebate check.

You can read more about the program on the city’s website.