Breckenridge Habitat house receives solar panels from Innovative Energy |

Breckenridge Habitat house receives solar panels from Innovative Energy

Summit Habitat for Humanity and Innovative Energy announced this week a partnership to add a solar panel system to the Habitat for Humanity home now under construction off Boreas Pass Road in Breckenridge.

The system is one kilowatt in size, encompasses five solar panels and will be constructed on the south-facing roof, according to a joint Summit Habitat and Innovative Energy news release. Innovative Energy is donating the entire system, including installation, permits and interconnection with the utility.

The set up and materials are estimated at $5,000 to $6,000, said Michelle Zimmerman, vice president of operations for Breckenridge-based Innovative Energy, and the company estimates the system could reduce monthly electrical expenses by almost half.

“This is a great opportunity for us to participate in the Summit Habitat for Humanity home just outside of Breckenridge,” said Eric Westerhoff, president of Innovative Energy, in a statement. “Adding solar to this home will help keep electric bills to minimum, saving money on monthly expenses for the next 25-plus years.”

The solar electric system will be net metered by Xcel Energy, allowing the homeowner to pay less for power each month and receive a credit for excess kilowatt-hours made by the system, the release stated. Kilowatt-hours not used by the home are stored in a virtual solar bank by the utility, much like rollover minutes by cell phone companies, and may be used by the homeowner at night or in winter months when there are fewer sun hours during the day.

“This will keep the home even more affordable for the family and we look forward to continuing this beneficial relationship with Innovative Energy,” said Summit Habitat executive director Nancy Shockey in the release. “We are very grateful for their support.”

In July, Summit Habitat received the necessary building permits from Summit County for the construction of the new home located on Illinois Gulch Road in the Woodmoor development in Breckenridge. Frisco resident April Weber and her four children were selected by Summit Habitat to occupy the three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,400 square-foot home.

In addition to the partnership with Innovative Energy, Summit Habitat also announced this week that excavation has begun and the foundation will be laid next week. Time, equipment and materials have been donated by Pat Quigley of PSQ Excavation and local contractor EHL, said David Pessel of Summit Habitat. The home, Summit Habitat’s fourth since 2000, is slated for completion around Thanksgiving.

In conjunction with the start of construction, Pessel said Brooklyn’s Tavern and Billiards, located in LaCima Mall in Breckenridge, agreed to assist in raising funds for the Weber’s home build, as well as builds in the future.

From 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4 Brooklyn’s is celebrating the completion of its new bar, created by Silverthorne’s Prism Design artist Tim Schwander, and will donate 30 percent of its earnings to Summit Habitat.

For more information about the fundraiser and Summit Habitat projects, contact David Pessel at

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