Carbondale senior housing latest to receive solar works |

Carbondale senior housing latest to receive solar works

Photo courtesy G-NECI

CARBONDALE, Colorado – The Crystal Meadows Senior Housing complex is the location for the Garfield New Energy Communities’ latest solar installation project.

Two Carbondale solar companies installed the systems for a total of $86,929, with funding from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs through the Garfield New Energy Communities Initiative (G-NECI), and grants from the Aspen Skiing Co. Environment Foundation, the Community Office for Resource Efficiency CORE, and by renewable energy rebates and credits from Xcel Energy.

Carbondale-based Sunsense Solar installed a 29.5-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, which is mounted on the roofs of three buildings throughout the senior housing complex.

Another Carbondale company, Solar Flair, installed the seven-panel solar thermal system on the roofs of five buildings in the newer Phase V section of the complex, which were pre-plumbed for solar thermal systems.

Senior housing residents joined community leaders and clean energy advocates in celebrating the new solar installations on Friday.

The roof arrays are expected to provide 15 percent of Crystal Meadows’ electrical needs and an estimated 80 percent of the domestic hot water for 15 units.

Solar collector panels on the roof of one of the buildings were heating water to 140 degrees on Friday, according to a G-NECI press release.

“We at senior housing are proud and gratified to see how much interest our seniors have shown at our new solar electric and solar hot water systems,” said Jerilyn Nieslanik, director of Carbondale Senior Housing Corp.

“Through lots of hard work, we have been able to get grants to get these installations and become part of the great solar initiative that America is undertaking,” she said. “The savings that we gain on these solar projects can further enhance our residents’ way of life at Crystal Meadows.”

Added Frosty Merriott, the Carbondale Town Council’s representative to the G-NECI board, “This project has been on the drawing board for a couple years, so it’s great to see the work get completed.”

The senior housing project is one of two renewable energy projects for Carbondale installed through the countywide G-NECI, and is part of a string of projects being installed in every community from Carbondale to Parachute.

“The Environment Foundation is excited to support projects that demonstrate Carbondale and the Roaring Fork Valley’s commitment to renewable energy,” added Matthew Hamilton, executive director of the Aspen Skiing Co. Environment Foundation, which contributed $10,000 to the project. “This project reduces costs to those living in senior housing, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

CORE provided a $25,000 Green Key grant for the project.

“Hopefully, this project will encourage other housing complexes to pursue solar installations as well,” said CORE director Nathan Ratledge.

Tony Hernandez, director of the Colorado Division of Local Government, praised the partners for their effort to make the clean energy projects come to life and for their creativity in combining solar hot water and electric systems in one project.

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