Fri Dec 4th, 2020
Robert L. Ortiz
The Southern Ute Drum
Thanks to a great partnership with Solar Barn Raising, KSUT has installed two ground-mounted solar arrays adjacent to its new home in Ignacio. After several years of planning, designing and overcoming obstacles, including the pandemic, a fantastic crew of staff and volunteers completed the installation on Tuesday, Nov. 24.
Solar Barn Raising is a non-profit that works with a small professional staff and a cadre of community volunteers – that’s the barn raising part, to install affordable residential and commercial solar photovoltaic systems in La Plata, Montezuma and Archuleta counties. They provide technical design and support, procurement of solar equipment and materials, and organize the installation activities.
Their project manager Riley Neugebauer said, “Solar Barn Raising is thrilled to work with KSUT, another community-based nonprofit, to bring more clean and renewable energy to the area. This project has allowed us to combine our technical expertise with volunteer engagement in order to help power a beloved local radio station, all while educating volunteers on how to install solar.”
A crew of six volunteers, including KSUT Executive Director Tami Graham, and three Solar Barn Raising staff installed 30 panels on two separate arrays, which will produce 11.4Kw of electricity into the grid. Electricity produced from the arrays will be credited back to KSUT by La Plata Electric Association, on a monthly basis. Graham was thrilled to take part in the hands-on side of the project, “I loved how we used traditional community barn raising principles to convert KSUT to solar-powered public radio.”
La Plata Electric Association and Three Green Assistance both provided grant support for the project.