New Energy Partnership Offers "Green Power" Options

Public Service Company of Colorado has announced that it has joined forces with Altair Energy, of Lakewood, to offer it customers a new option for electricity: the ancient power of the sun.

This option, called Solarsource, allows Public Service Co. customers to purchase rooftop PV systems to meet some, or all, of their electric needs. PV refers to photovoltaics, the technology used to convert sunlight into electricity. PV is different from the solar hot water systems that are frequently seen on the rooftops of Colorado homes.

This unique marketing alliance offers both the urban and rural Public Service Co. customer more than the traditional electricity options. Also, Solarsource could be more cost effective for many customers. Those who live near power lines can still be connected to the electric power "grid", but Public Service Company will actually credit a customer’s energy bill when their PV system generates excess power. Public Service Company will not use ratepayer money to market the program. Additionally, Altair Energy can help Public Service Company customer’s cash in on rebates currently available through the Colorado Governor’s Office of Energy Conservation.

With electric deregulation on the horizon, Altair is helping electric utilities to expand their menu of energy services by offering PV systems as an environmentally friendly energy product. The company also offers solar electric solutions to builders, developers and governmental agencies.

For example, Altair and Public Service Company of Colorado will install as many 40 school PV systems throughout Colorado as part of its Solar Schools Program. The PV systems will be line-tied, meaning that they will be connected to the utility grid system, and each will provide enough electricity to power one or two classrooms.

Also, Altair Energy will install a computerized performance monitoring so that "real-time" electricity generation and weather data is available to each classroom. And by providing the schools with educational program support, the company will ensure that the PV systems will be an available educational resource for many years.

These PV systems are being funded primarily through Public Service Co. of Colorado’s Renewable Energy Trust, a tax-deductible fund that allows their customers to support renewable energy installations at schools and non-profits. The Colorado Governor’s Office of Energy Conservation also is helping to offset costs for the schools systems.