One of the largest community solar gardens coming to Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- One of the largest community solar gardens is coming soon to Colorado Springs.

It's called the Pikes Peak Solar Garden, and it's one of four solar farms in El Paso County.

Experts say the field was considered a brown field, meaning the soil was contaminated and were unable to use it for residential, commercial or farming purposes.

However, they were able to use it for solar panels.

Colorado Springs is known for having at least 300 days of sunshine each year, and now it's using that natural solar energy and putting it to good use.

Solar energy is growing in popularity and Colorado Springs.

It is making its mark by being one of the first cities in the nation to have a community solar farm.

"Community solar is doing something big, it's a way to bring renewable energy to everybody without the limit and the cost of putting panels on the roof top," David Amster-Olsweski, CEO for Sun Share said.

David says once this solar garden opens, it will be able to power 500 homes in the community, which means they will be able to save money in the long run.

"The benefit to customers is they sign up at no upfront cost and every month they pay an electric bill that is 10% less than they used to pay," Amster-Olsweski, said.

Manitou Springs is also one of the first cities to really take advantage of this renewable energy.

"We have subscribed to about a quarter of the panels in this garden for five municipal buildings," Coreen Toll, Mayor Pro Tem of Manitou Springs said.

The CEO for Colorado Springs utilities says being able to use solar power will help them meet their energy vision.

"To be 20% renewable by 2020, that's 20% of all of our send out and so in a small way this garden that I am standing in front of helps with that," Jerry Forte, CEO of Colorado Springs Utilities said.

Officials say they expect to complete this project by next month.

So far, 95 percent of the garden is already sold to Pikes Peak Library System, University of Colorado and to hundreds of home owners.

If people want to purchase some of this clean local solar power click here.


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