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Boulder County approves solar garden research station south of Longmont

Jack's Solar Garden to host bees, crops co-located with solar panels

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Boulder County commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved a development project just south of Longmont aiming to pair solar power generation with agricultural production and research.

The project, Jack’s Solar Garden, will allow researchers from the National Renewable Energy Lab, Colorado State University and University of Arizona to monitor how crops and plants grown beneath the solar panels benefit from the panels, as well as how cooler “microclimates” created by plants increase panel productivity.

About 3,000 solar panels will be erected on Byron Kominek’s farm property, and residents and business owners on the Xcel Energy grid can subscribe to support the project when it’s complete and receive the clean energy it provides.

Kominek hopes to start construction this year.

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