With the goal of making solar energy more accessible for all of its members, and in a joint effort with Escalante Heritage Center, Garkane broke ground on Tuesday, October 2, on its second community solar project.

Garkane sought out 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 pavilion being built next to the Escalante Heritage Center. The amphitheater, nestled beneath the remote terrain of Escalante, will serve as a beautiful backdrop for outdoor concerts, dance recitals and other live performances. The Heritage Center highlights the rich history of the Escalante area and Garkane is pleased to support the community by building the pavilion on site.

With the help of an energy efficient rebate from its wholesale power supplier 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 over 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 only an additional $1.95 per month, which is 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 acts as a crowd-funding way for consumers to bring solar projects to their communities. The Escalante solar project is the second of three projects planned, with the Kanab Solar Pavilion already going online in March of this year. What’s nice about this business model, the co-op takes care of the production aspects – the construction, maintenance and upkeep – and all members benefit because we are reducing our carbon footprint.”

To sign up for the SHINE program, go to www.garkaneenergy.com under the Member Services tab, and click on SHINE Program. The solar pavilion is expected to be completed early 2019, and will serve as a great addition to the future plans of the Escalante Heritage Center.