Solar summit launches tri-county ‘roadmapping’ effort
Decision-makers from Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties are to gather in Glenwood Springs today to launch a planning process that’s intended to usher in more solar projects across the region.
The all-day event is presented by Clean Energy Economy for the Region (CLEER) and Garfield Clean Energy, in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), based in Golden.
Organizers say the time is right for the three counties to come together to plan for new solar projects on a regional scale.
“We have a window of opportunity now in 2019 to really bend the curve on solar energy in our region,” Katharine Rushton, CLEER’s renewable energy program director, said in a press release announcing the summit.
Support Local Journalism
“This solar roadmapping workshop is pivotal to kickstart that,” she said.
Rushton added that the cost of installing solar has fallen to the point where it’s as cheap as conventional energy.
In conjunction, electric utilities and local governments in the region have begun adopting stronger “clean-energy” targets. And Gov. Jared Polis’ goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2040 means Colorado now has one of the most ambitious targets in the country.
Locally, Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties are in the process of establishing a Regional Clean Energy Corridor Network to take advantage of the opportunities.
The network concept emerged from a roundtable meeting in December aimed at developing regional approaches to accelerating projects and aligning the interests of local governments, utilities, nonprofits and other stakeholders.
Thursday’s event, titled “Regional Solar Energy Planning: Collaboration, Innovation, Acceleration,” represents the Network’s first action step.
The summit is open to the public. To register, visit CLEER’s website or the Eventbrite page.
According to the press release, the collaborative process will “enable the three counties to benefit from economies of scale, access state funding, pool resources, share best practices and come up with innovative new ideas.”
Advancing solar on a regional scale helps achieve three important goals, organizers said.
The workshop will include staff members and elected officials of local governments and utilities, solar industry representatives and others in the solar development field. NREL staff will lead the session and will provide information about technical resources.
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Local law enforcement spoke this week with the organizer of two demonstrations against racism this weekend in Aspen following the death of George Floyd to ensure they will be safe.