Stimulus Bill Enables Eldorado Natural Spring Water to Install 100kW Commercial Solar Electric System

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Eldorado Natural Spring Water in Colorado is installing a 100 kilowatt solar electric system on the roof of its main office/bottling facility with the help of local project partners, NexGen Energy Partners, and Namasté Solar. This long-awaited project is one of the first large commercial solar electric systems to be installed in Colorado since the ARRA was signed by President Obama in Denver on February 17, 2009.

Eldorado Natural Spring Water Solar System Installed

After waiting such a long time, we are excited that the installation of our new solar system began this week. It will be one of the largest in the state and we'll be able to obtain approximately 50% of our energy needs from this system

Thanks to important provisions in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), Eldorado Natural Spring Water is installing a 100 kilowatt solar electric system on the roof of its main office/bottling facility with the help of local project partners, NexGen Energy Partners, and Namasté Solar. This long-awaited project is one of the first large commercial solar electric systems to be installed in Colorado since the ARRA was signed by President Obama in Denver on February 17, 2009.

Eldorado's plans to install the solar electric system had previously been stalled for over two years. The project was expected to be completed last fall, but turmoil in the economy and capital markets caused project financing to fall through. Due to a gloomy economic outlook, the project's future was put on indefinite hold. Many months later, the ARRA was enacted with critically important provisions that allowed the project to move forward again.

"After waiting such a long time, we are excited that the installation of our new solar system began this week. It will be one of the largest in the state and we'll be able to obtain approximately 50% of our energy needs from this system," said Jeremy Martin, VP of Marketing at Eldorado Natural Spring Water.

The solar project was made possible through a partnership of several local leaders in renewable energy. NexGen Energy Partners, a Colorado-based owner and operator of renewable energy systems nationwide, developed and financed the project with the help of multiple provisions in the ARRA. One major provision allows project owners to receive a 30% cash grant from the U.S. Treasury Department. The grant was previously in the form of an investment tax credit (ITC), but due to troubles in the economy, the ability of investors to benefit from the ITCs was seriously hampered. As a result, hundreds of commercial solar projects throughout the country were either cancelled or put on hold. The ARRA directly addressed this problem by changing the 30% ITC to a 30% cash grant.

John M. Brown, President of NexGen, said, "There's no doubt that the ARRA made it possible for us to move forward with this project. The ARRA contained key changes to the Investment Tax Credits that allow organizations like Eldorado to partner with companies like NexGen to receive the benefits of renewable energy with no upfront capital investment and without taking on any technical challenges. NexGen is excited to have played a crucial role in making this long‐anticipated project a reality."

NexGen will own and operate the solar electric system, selling the electricity it generates to Eldorado Natural Spring Water at a pre-determined price over a 20-year term. Eldorado will benefit from getting approximately 50% of its annual energy needs from clean solar electricity at a pre-determined price, thereby mitigating its risk to rising power prices.

Namasté Solar is designing and installing the solar electric system which is due to be complete in early September. "We are happy to finally have the opportunity to install this solar project," said Namasté Solar President and CEO, Blake Jones. "After the collapse of financial markets last Fall, this project and many others were cancelled. It gave us great cause for concern about our future, but fortunately the ARRA passed with several important solar-friendly provisions. The ARRA allowed us to maintain many jobs and even start hiring more people in anticipation of projects just like this one. It has taken many months to determine the details regarding how the ARRA's provisions would be implemented, but we are now ready to begin the Eldorado Natural Spring Water project which will hopefully be the first of many more to come."

Namasté Solar's President and CEO, Blake Jones, introduced President Obama before he signed the ARRA at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in February. Jones also gave the President and Vice President a tour of the 100 kilowatt solar system - the same size as the system installed at Eldorado's facilities - which had previously been installed at the Museum.

PROJECT INFORMATION

System Details
System Size: 99.96 kilowatts
Solar Panels: Kyocera KD-210
Number of photovoltaic (PV) modules: 476
Power output per module: 210 watts
Racking System Manufacturer: Panel Claw
Racking System Model: The Polar Bear
Racking System Type: Non-penetrating, ballast-only
Tilt angle: 10 degrees
System Orientation: 180 degrees due south
Project surface area: Approximately 13,000 square feet
Annual Energy Output: 131,625 kilowatt hours

Recurring Benefits (every year for 30+ years):
Carbon Emission Reduction: 269,568 lbs/year
Vehicle Mile Reduction Equivalent: 294,858 miles/year
Equivalent # of Trees Planted: 10,368 total trees

PROJECT PARTNERS

Eldorado Natural Spring Water - SITE HOST
Eldorado Natural Spring Water is a Colorado based and publicly traded company (ELDO.OB) primarily engaged in the bottling and marketing of natural artesian spring water. Over 100 years ago, the artesian springs, which are the source for Eldorado's water, were the center of Eldorado Springs resort where prominent people of the day traveled to "take the waters." Today, the springs, located in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains in Boulder County, are surrounded by thousands of acres of state and city park land, providing a well-protected source. The water is naturally purified as it rises through layers of sandstone under its own artesian pressure. The water is bottled with the utmost of care in its natural state and is not chemically treated in any way. Eldorado Natural Spring Water supplies over 13,000 customers in the Front Range with bottled spring water and water coolers, organic vitamin spring water, water filtration systems, and single serve coffee service.
http://www.EldoradoSprings.com

NexGen - SYSTEM OWNER
NexGen Energy Partners is an owner and operator of distributed renewable energy systems sited at customers' facilities. The company works with governments, schools, businesses and utilities across the nation to deliver customers the benefits of clean energy without the capital investment and technical risk. NexGen is based in Boulder, Colorado.
http://www.Nexgen-EnergyPartners.com

Namasté Solar - INSTALLER
Namasté Solar works to propagate the responsible use of solar energy, pioneer conscientious business practices, and create holistic wealth for the community. As the leading solar company in Colorado with more in-state installations than any other company, Namasté Solar has installed more than 850 PV systems totaling over 4.5 MW since 2005. Its innovative business model includes employee ownership, democratic decision-making, community collaboration, a unique solar grant program, zero-waste initiatives, educational outreach, and holistic profit measurement.
http://www.NamasteSolar.com

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Heather Leanne Nangle
Namasté Solar
303-447-0300 ext. 220
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