Saturday, June 2, 2012 : Guest Commentary : Inconsistencies in Colorado's energy developments

Energy expert Rich Mignogna wonders why the Colorado PUC has little say in the siting of power plants...


... one of the cases that has received much recent attention is the 1041 permit process for a concentrating solar power facility near the San Luis Valley town of Center in Saguache County.

That project, proposed by California solar developer Solar Reserve, posits the development of two concentrating solar electric generation facilities known as "power towers." A number of groups expressed environmental, wildlife, view shed, and quality of life concerns with this proposal to construct two 656-foot towers smack in the middle of the valley on land that is presently dedicated to agricultural use. In a 2-1 decision, the Saguache County commissioners approved the Solar Reserve 1041 permit application, eschewing the aforementioned concerns in favor of the promised economic benefits that the development would have.

The development would create an industrial facility encompassing about 6 square miles, the central focus of which would be two towers that are only 50 feet short of the tallest building in downtown Denver. It is difficult to envision how such a project — with the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east and the San Juan Mountains to the west — fits into the character of what is largely a pristine agricultural area.

Read more:

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

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