Jack’s Solar Garden is a family-owned social enterprise owned and managed by Rotarian, Byron Kominek. Jack’s Solar is a 1.2 MW solar array being built this summer on 5 acres of Byron’s grandfather’s farm in Boulder County. This project will become a model for responsible solar farming on the Front Range of Colorado that could enable other farmers to make ends meet while producing both food and energy simultaneously.
“Rotarians are very much more favorably disposed toward action than they are toward words” – Paul Harris.
 
Jack’s Solar Garden is a family-owned social enterprise owned and managed by Rotarian, Byron Kominek. Jack’s Solar is a 1.2 MW solar array being built this summer on 5 acres of Byron’s grandfather’s farm in Boulder County. This project will become a model for responsible solar farming on the Front Range of Colorado that could enable other farmers to make ends meet while producing both food and energy simultaneously.
 
Byron has spent the past three years working with Xcel Energy, Boulder County government, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado State University, the University of Arizona, and Audubon Rockies to set up a solar array to demonstrate responsible solar farming through a process called agrivoltaics. Agrivoltaics is the co-location of agriculture and solar panels where the solar panels create a microclimate beneath them that enables select vegetation to grow better than out in the open. This is due to an increase in soil moisture caused by the panels shading the ground and preventing the soil from drying out. Panels can also protect crops from damaging winds and hail. Further, during the middle of the summer, the humidity created by the vegetation under the panels can have a cooling effect on the panels and increase their energy production.
 
As a part of Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards Community program, Jack’s Solar Garden offers residents, companies, and non-profits the opportunity to offset their electricity consumption by subscribing to Jack’s Solar Garden where we will be producing the clean solar energy. Residents can make a one-time upfront payment for a 5, 10, or 20 year term to receive monthly electricity bill credits back from Xcel Energy while supporting Jack’s Solar Garden’s efforts and receiving annual invitations to attend events at our farm. Companies and non-profit organizations with annual electricity demands greater than 250,000 kWh/year can sign up with only month-to-month payments (no upfront cost) to receive monthly electricity bill credits back from Xcel Energy while being able to use this subscription to garner points towards LEED, B-Corps, or other green certifications.
 
Fellow Rotarians can support Byron’s efforts this summer by seeing the societal value in his project and sign up their homes or their companies to access the power and community benefits of his family’s solar garden.
 
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” – Helen Keller.
 
Cell: 970-344-8066