Denver, CO

Denver adds solar panels to parking lots at four rec centers

Matt Whittaker
Solar panels near Denver International Airport.Photo byDavid Wilson via Flickr

By Matt Whittaker / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) The city is installing solar panels at four recreation center parking lots as part of a project that will ultimately generate enough electricity to avoid the emissions of 1,000 cars each year.

Most of the parking lots at Montbello, Harvard Gulch, Central Park recreation centers, and Lowry Tennis Courts will be covered with solar panels this year. The panels will be elevated so vehicles can park underneath.

These solar carports will power the rec center buildings, and the city will donate extra electricity to needy families.

The four installations are part of a $26 million program for building 11 “community solar gardens” that will produce 9.6 million kWh per year, avoiding emissions equivalent to taking 1,000 cars off the road, the city says. 

McKinstry, the Seattle-based company building the solar installations, said more than 30% of the power generated would be allocated to low-income housing and Denver Public Schools families who need help paying their energy bills. 

The rec centers will remain open during construction.

  • Construction at the Montbello location is scheduled for completion on July 28, and alternative parking is available along Maxwell Place and E. 53rd Ave. 
  • Construction at the Harvard Gulch center is scheduled for completion on July 19, and alternative parking is available around the north parking lot and on Iliff Ave. 
  • Construction at the Central Park center is scheduled for completion on Sept. 20. Alternative parking is available around certain areas in the parking lot, along M.L.K. Jr. Blvd. and at the lots near Central Park.
  • Construction at the Lowry Tennis Courts is scheduled for completion on Nov. 6. The city didn’t have alternate parking information for Lowry on its website.

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Matt Whittaker writes about natural resources industries, including oil and gas, mining, renewable energy, agriculture and cannabis. He's been based in the Denver metro area since 2013. You can follow him on Twitter @mattswhittaker.

Lakewood, CO

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