CLEER’s job is to ensure that our region does its part to maximize local solar development, reduce carbon emissions and realize the economic benefits that will come with the clean energy transition.
RAMPING UP RENEWABLES
The electric grid is getting steadily cleaner as utilities replace fossil fuel power plants with solar and wind resources.
CLEER partnered in an ambitious, multi-year initiative to expand community-scale solar and battery storage across our three-county region (Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties) that concluded in 2021. The project resulted in a landmark Three-County Solar + Storage Study and Action Plan, which calculates that solar could realistically grow by more than 25-fold and offers an extensive action plan for achieving this. The initiative also includes a GIS-based mapping tool to identify suitable solar sites and an online solar development tool box for local governments and landowners. (These resources are all available on the website of the Western Colorado Clean Energy Network, an umbrella effort spearheaded by CLEER.)
To streamline solar development, our staff are providing technical assistance to Garfield Clean Energy member governments in making their regulations more solar-friendly through the national SolSmart program. Garfield County and the towns of Silt and Carbondale have received SolSmart designations, and several other jurisdictions are actively working toward designations.
Additionally, CLEER promotes rooftop solar through efforts such as Solarize Garfield County, a time-limited campaign in 2021 that harnessed the power of group buying to drive down prices and build community excitement around going solar.
Also as part of our Garfield Clean Energy services, we provide technical consulting on large institutional solar projects, assisting assist site owners and utilities in assessing solar potential, reviewing contracts and power purchase agreements, navigating permitting processes, evaluating technologies and pricing, and accessing financing and rebates. Most recently, we helped facilitate the development of a 5 MW solar array at Colorado Mountain College’s Spring Valley campus.