Get with the solar program, Aspen |

Get with the solar program, Aspen

Dear Editor:

When it comes to solar power, Aspen is being totally outclassed by its downvalley neighbors.

Within a few months, there will 30 times more solar electricity being generated in Rifle than in the upper valley.

Hell, as things stand Aspen is being trounced by El Jebel.

On Monday, the City Council will debate amendments to the Renewable Energy Mitigation Program that would unfortunately cement this status quo. When it was established a decade ago, REMP was a path-breaking accomplishment. The program has raised more than $8 million to support renewable energy and energy efficiency investments in the upper valley.

But the proposed changes would forbid REMP applicants from contributing to community solar installations, like the $4 million one being built in Rifle right now.

Community solar – like the installation near Blue Lake – is an idea perfected here in our valley that other towns across the country are now clamoring to replicate.

I’d like to state my strong support for community-based renewable energy projects being an eligible method for complying with REMP. Outlawing this seems crazy ass-backwards to me.

I don’t want to read a headline that says “Aspen lags on solar,” then quotes Mayor Ireland, who says: “We may be behind El Jebel, but at least we’ve nosed ahead of Delta, Debeque, and Somerset.”

Let’s pump some oxygen into City Hall, then take a few weeks to rethink what our goals are here – and how best to achieve them.

Randy Udall


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