solar array

The new Mountain Village solar power co-op will help residents and businesses install solar arrays. (Courtesy photo)

The Town of Mountain Village will pay you to go green, as the town recently announced a new solar energy co-op incentive for residents and businesses.

In partnership with Solar United Neighbors (SUN), a nonprofit that facilitates neighborhood solar co-ops across the country, the program offers a $2,500 incentive rebate for Mountain Village property owners who sign up and plan to install solar arrays. Any participating deed-restricted property will receive up to $5,000 for going solar, according to a town news release.

The co-op is free to join upfront, and only open to Mountain Village homeowners or business owners who want to learn more about solar energy.

“The unique opportunity that the Town of Mountain Village is offering with their generous rebate will help expand solar adoption in the community,” said Bryce Carter, SUN’s Colorado program director. “Given the program is free to join with no obligation to go solar, there's nothing to lose by becoming a member to learn what going solar means for your family or business. Whether or not community members ultimately sign a contract, Solar United Neighbors is here as a community resource to answer questions as a third party.”

He added that SUN has already helped over 100 families along the Western Slope, and Mountain Village’s program will reach even more.

“We are excited to launch the first Mountain Village solar co-op, partnering with the Town of Mountain Village,” he said. “We’ve helped over 100 families and businesses go solar on the Western Slope and in our mountain communities, building economic resilience across the region. We look forward to growing this momentum and commend Mountain Village’s leadership by helping expand the accessibility of the benefits of solar through their incentive rebate, especially for deed-restricted housing.”

Mountain Village Business Development and Sustainability Director Zoe Dohnal explained that the deadline to join the co-op is May 15 so don’t delay.

“We are thrilled to be offering such a robust incentive program to Mountain Village property owners in partnership with TMVOA and Solar United Neighbors. We can’t wait to see folks go solar this year thanks to this unique incentive,” Dohnal said.

The Telluride Mountain Village Owners Association has partnered with the town to fund the incentive program.

“The two existing incentive programs that TMVOA contributes to, Cedar Shake Rebate and Defensible Space/Wildfire Mitigation, continue to be a great success,” TMVOA Director of Operations and Finance Garrett Brafford said at the time the program was announced. “We are excited about another financial partnership on a residential member-focused program with the Town that is supporting renewable energy efforts in our community.”

Under the guidance of SUN, the co-op will then be able to leverage its numbers to purchase individual solar energy systems at a competitive price. SUN facilitates a competitive bidding process out to contracts to select a single company to complete installations. Joining the co-op does not obligate members to purchase solar, however.

“The solar co-op framework is an innovative way to promote solar adoption throughout the community because it both creates momentum behind solar, as well as helps drive down costs for participants,” said Mountain Village Green Team Vice-Chair and Town Council Member Marti Prohaska. “We are thankful to have the expertise of Solar United Neighbors to guide us through the process, as they have helped initiate solar success stories in many other communities.”

During the development of this new program, funds were set aside specifically to help deed-restricted homeowners take advantage of going solar.

“While going solar has long-term cost savings benefits, installation costs can be prohibitive for many households,” Prohaska said. “The additional incentive for deed-restricted homes is designed to help families that may have a harder time swallowing the initial price tag of solar installation. Between the Mountain Village's contribution, current federal tax credits, and the SMPA incentive, it may be the perfect time to finally go solar.”

To learn more about this new incentive program or sign up for the co-op, visit townofmountainvillage.com/solar.