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Solar in Denver: Commercial Buildings
 

Take the First Step

Adding solar is one way to comply with the new Denver Green Roof Initiative. Learn more about the requirements of this ordinance, which applies to buildings over 25,000 square feet in size, here. 

Resources & Tips

Taking steps to reduce your energy use before adding solar can save money on energy costs and could mean fewer solar panels are needed on your property. The City offers resources to help you save energy:

This type of solar installation involves placing panels on a building's roof. Fortunately, there are many options when it comes to system types and sizes. It’s important to consider all options and terms so that the system you select is the best choice for you and your building.

A few things to consider about rooftop solar:

  • Is your roof in good condition?
  • How much viable roof space do you have, and is it enough to cover your solar needs? Explore the EnergySage solar calculator to find out.
  • Do you offer or are you planning to integrate electric vehicle parking stations or electric company cars? Check out Pass Gas for helpful information.
  • Is your building located in a historic district? Visit the Landmark Design Guidelines page to learn more.
  • Should you lease or buy your panels? EnergySage can help weigh the pros and cons.
  • Are there existing trees that may prevent solar generation? If tree removal is necessary, check with the Denver Office of the Forester to determine approvals at forestry@denvergov.org.
  • Additional considerations from Xcel Energy.

Also known as a solar garden, community solar allows multiple entities to purchase power from a portion of a large solar array, which then results in a credit on each entity's electric bill.  

Community solar also allows renters and properties without suitable roof space to have access to clean energy without having to install panels of their own. 

Selling Excess Energy: If your solar panels produce more energy than your building uses, Xcel Energy will reimburse you through one of two programs. 

Energy Loans: 

Incentives:

First things first, be sure that your contractor is licensed to work within the City & County of Denver and pulling appropriate permits for your projects.

  • EnergySage Solar Portal
  • Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association Installer List
  • GRID Alternatives: Rooftop, community, and multi-family solar installers for income qualified households and affordable housing providers throughout the state.
  • Word of Mouth: Talk with your business neighbors about their experiences and which installers they worked with.

Obtaining 2-3 quotes is recommended when it comes to installing solar panels. Installers will provide free estimates, and having multiple quotes gives you the power to understand your options and make the best decision for your business. 

Permit process (pdf) for a commercial or multi-family solar system or solar hot water heater.

 

Renewable Denver Initiative

Subscribe to or host a community solar garden

The City and County of Denver will host up to 15MW of community solar gardens on municipal rooftops, over parking lots, and vacant land. The projects will be distributed across Denver’s city council districts and be built with local labor. The power will be shared between City facilities and local residents and businesses. At least 10% of the power will be used to help low- and moderate-income residents save on bills. 

The community solar program will advance Denver’s commitment to reaching a clean electricity system in Colorado and expands the economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy to more members of our community. The Renewable Denver Initiative is supported by a $1,000,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. 

The Initiative is designed to remove all up-front costs to a community solar garden site host. Additionally, the program enables long-term electricity bill savings for the site host and for low- and moderate-income subscribers. Commercial property owners interested in replicating Denver’s program and hosting their own community solar garden(s) should contact jonathan.rogers@denvergov.org.

Join the pre-launch waitlist if you are interested in subscribing to solar power from a Denver-hosted community solar garden.


Compare Solar Quotes

Easily explore your solar options today

The City and County of Denver have partnered with EnergySage to help consumers find residential and commercial solar options. This free portal provides an easy way to assess a property’s solar capacity, get an instant estimate on solar-related energy savings, and get quotes from local, vetted installers. Advisors are available via phone, email or chat to help you to sift through quotes and answer questions. This platform was developed with the support of the US Department of Energy. 

Want to learn more about EnergySage? Watch this 1-minute video.

Disclaimer: The City and County of Denver do not endorse one company over another. Confirm that your installer is licensed with the City and County of Denver by checking their electrical license  

 

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Denver, CO 80204
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Climate Action, Sustainability & Resiliency

720-865-9028
sustainability@denvergov.org

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