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Staff Report

Solar power will soon grace two Delta County businesses with its green energy, as Michelle and David Livingston confirmed on July 20 they will be pursuing solar installation at their two businesses, The Delta Elevator in Delta and Sunshine Mesa Farm in Hotchkiss.

This announcement was made by Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (Colorado C-PACE), which is providing full funding for the project, allowing the Livingstons to install “solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays at their two businesses,” according to a C-PACE press release.

The plan is to install a 16 kW ground mount solar PV array at The Delta Elevator and a 10 kW roof mount solar PV array at Sunshine Mesa Farm. With C-PACE funding, Atlasta Solar will be the company responsible for installing both arrays.

$130,230 will be contributed by Pueblo-based PACE Conservation Solutions, which was selected by the Livingstons from C-PACE’s open market.

The Livingstons have expressed serious ambition in completing this transition to renewable resources, crediting it as a major step in the right direction.

“We began our farming adventure in 2017 with the goal of raising chickens in a humane and environmentally sustainable manner,” Michelle Livingston said. “Converting to solar power is a major step in our long-term plans for the farm. We want our pastured poultry operation to be a model of eco-friendly egg production.”

“Running a successful farm and granary requires close attention to our bottom line,” David Livingston said. “We were looking for ways to reduce our expenses and moving towards greater energy efficiency provides financial sustainability for years to come.”

David added, with all of the cost being covered, the solar setup will ultimately pay for itself.

Colorado C-PACE is a program of the New Energy Improvement District (NEID) and is administered by Sustainable Real Estate Solutions (SRS).

C-PACE facilitates financing for energy and water improvements in new and existing commercial buildings, including new heating and cooling systems, lighting, water pumps, insulation, and renewable energy projects. They provide long-term financing which covers 100% of costs, which is repaid over a period of up to 25 years, tied in with property tax.

As indicated by the Livingstons, even with the payments for the long-term funding, they will come out ahead in the project altogether.

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