Sunday, February 12, 2012

Solar Gardens Institute to continue organizing in Boulder

Boulder is a hotbed for community solar. We have received more interest in offsite solar subscriptions in Boulder County than the rest of Colorado combined (thanks Greg!).

Yet XCEL Energy is pushing for no solar gardens or subscribers in the City of Boulder. It would appear to be in XCEL's interest to make Boulder's transition to community power as painful as possible to prevent other Colorado communities from "doing a Boulder" and pursuing their own energy destiny.

The Solar Gardens Institute (SGI) proposes that solar gardens in Boulder should be allowed, despite the current uncertainty. To make this easier whatever happens, we are subscribing Boulder residents to proposed solar gardens within the city limits. Those in Boulder County outside the city can only subscribe to solar gardens outside of Boulder proper.

Ultimately, when Boulder controls its own destiny, our plan is for solar gardens in every neighborhood. Unencumbered by "green tape" from the PUC and XCEL's profit motive, subscribers will almost certainly get a better deal. Local is better.



From the Boulder "Daily Camera"

In November, Boulder voters approved ballot measures that allow the city to break from Xcel and form a municipal utility if the elected leaders choose to do so.

In late December, Xcel attorney Paula Connelly sent a letter to the city outlining Xcel's position that continuing to provide "discretionary programs" -- including Solar Rewards and a proposed long-term Windsource -- to Boulder's customers could hurt the utility's other customers because the city may leave before the utility recoups the full return on its investment.


Connelly also proposed that Xcel not allow Boulder customers to participate in two upcoming programs: solar gardens and long-term Windsource. Solar gardens will allow groups of customers to own shares in a solar array that is not located on their own properties, which will give renters, condo owners and those with shady roofs the opportunity to invest in solar.|met:300|cat:0|order:4

Joy Hughes, Founder, Solar Gardens Institute
CEO, Solar Panel Hosting LLC
(719)207-3097 direct

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