With the goal of making solar energy more accessible for all of its members and in a joint effort with Kanab City, Garkane broke ground last Friday on the area’s first community solar project. Garkane worked closely with Kanab City to find a location that would benefit all of the community, and not just a select few. The 33kW solar energy system will be constructed as the roof of a new amphitheater being built next to the skate park. The amphitheater, nestled beneath Kanab’s red hills, will serve as a beautiful backdrop for outdoor concerts, dance recitals, and other live performances.

With the help of an energy efficient rebate from its wholesale power supplier Deseret Power, and from the newly created SHINE program, Garkane is able to fully fund the project without using additional membership capital. The SHINE program is a way for members to pay an additional amount on their monthly bill to help fund local renewable energy projects.

Currently, Garkane has 123 accounts participating in the program, purchasing over 202,000 kWh energy blocks. If Garkane consumers are interested in participating in the program, they can purchase a 100 kWh block of energy for an additional $1.95 added to their monthly bill.

Garkane Energy Advisor James Clegg stated, “We’ve seen an outstanding response to this SHINE program as energy conscious members step up to financially support renewable energy projects in our communities. We are looking for more participants, as it sort of acts as a crowd-funding way for consumers to bring solar projects to their communities. The Kanab solar project is the first of three projects planned, and what’s nice about this business model, the co-op takes care of the hard parts – the construction, maintenance and upkeep – and all members benefit because we are reducing our carbon footprint.”

The solar amphitheater is expected to be completed in October, and will include bathrooms and an LED monitor displaying the solar panels output at any given moment, and will serve as a great addition to the ever growing Jacob Hamblin complex.