The Museum is Now Home to the Largest Roof-Mounted Photovoltaic Array in Colorado
DENVER… Now, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science can tap into abundant Colorado sunshine for a portion
solar panels split between roofs on the southeast and southwest wings of the Museum, and should generate 134,500
kilowatt hours of electricity per year on average—enough to power 30 homes. This is the largest roof-mounted
photovoltaic array in Colorado.
"We are delighted to be able to offset some of the Museum's power consumption with this new source of renewable
energy," said George Sparks, president and CEO of the Museum. "We are always looking for ways to improve our
energy efficiency and reduce our impact on the environment, and we feel strongly that every step we take toward
that end is vitally important—whether it's making it easier for our visitors to recycle in the T-Rex Café, or working
to earn LEED-EB certification for our building."
The photovoltaic array at the Museum was made possible through a collaboration of several community leaders in
renewable energy, including Hybrid Energy Group, Partnership for Sustainability, and Namasté Solar Electric, who
joined the Museum in a common vision. Their cooperation and resourcefulness helped make this vision a reality.
Hybrid Energy Group, a Denver based renewable energy investment company, developed and financed the project.
A portion of the financing was provided by private investors, another portion through a loan from the Partnership for
Sustainability, a nonprofit organization that awards no-interest loans to individuals, small businesses, and nonprofits
for solar projects. In addition, the Xcel Energy Solar*Rewards rebate program covered a significant portion of the
system cost. Xcel Energy provides cash rebates for the installation of solar photovoltaic systems for homes, businesses,
and nonprofits that can total between 30-60% of the upfront cost requirements.
Hybrid Energy Group will own and operate the photovoltaic array, selling the solar electricity it generates to the
Museum. After six years, the Museum will purchase the array from Hybrid Energy Group at a discount.
"We've structured the development and ownership of the photovoltaic array in such a way that the investment in
solar energy is much more attractive to the Museum," said Woody Beardsley, president and founding member of
Hybrid Energy Group. "By working with HEG, the Museum will be able to acquire renewable energy for less than
it could have if it had purchased the photovoltaic array on its own."
For the engineering and installation of the solar system, the Museum turned to Namasté Solar Electric, a wellestablished
leader in the field of solar energy. Since 2005, Namasté Solar has installed more than 400 solar systems
in Colorado. The system designed for the Museum uses SunPower 215-watt solar modules, the highest-efficiency
solar panels available today, and a non-penetrating mounting structure, which eliminates the chance of leaks in the
roof over the Museum's precious exhibits and artifacts.
"The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the perfect place to showcase solar technologies, because its educational
impact on the community is invaluable. By using the photovoltaic array as a teaching tool, not just a power source, the
Museum will set the example for other community organizations and visitors to do their part for the environment,"
said Ray Tuomey, co-owner and founding member of Namasté Solar Electric.
The Museum is in the process of adding a web-based monitoring system that will give a real-time graphic visualization
of how much energy is being produced by the solar system. When complete, this application can be accessed on
dmns.org, and will be used by the Museum to educate the general public about the benefits of solar energy.