Pitkin County eyes future solar farm | AspenTimes.com

Pitkin County eyes future solar farm

As a Pitkin County resident with almost 30 years working in the solar industry, I am obviously in support of the Pitkin solar project. Having worked with several utilities, I can honestly say Holy Cross Energy is one of the most progressive, forward-thinking and committed electric utilities in Colorado — and perhaps the entire country. This is not only because of their vision, but even more so, their concern for their owner/customers. They think through issues and projects with a positive, yet cautious, approach.

Having attended one of the planning and zoning meetings, I heard a common concern from the Brush Creek and Woody Creek residents: “We like solar, but just not in that location” and “it can go anywhere.”

This is simply not true when you consider the economics. Though I failed to ask during the comment period, let me do so now. As supporters of solar, how many of you folks have a system on your home? And if not on your home, how many have opted into a community solar project? My guess is very few.

With this in mind, perhaps the best way to show your support for solar is to sacrifice a small sliver of your view plane as your contribution to battling climate change. We must all do our part, and this seems like a small ask as we continue to work toward a more sustainable planet.

Holy Cross is not trying to railroad anyone into renewables. Their innovative community solar projects have been functioning for years, their incentive program is nationally recognized, a pilot solar/storage project is in place at the Habitat homes in Basalt, and they are building in resiliency to their portfolio moving forward. They are using common sense and commitment in pursuing the Pitkin solar project.

So let’s be leaders and take advantage of our shining star as we work toward a renewable future. A favorite quote of mine states, “The best way to predict the future is to help create it.”

Scott Ely