ASEN, Colo. - Pitkin County is revising its rules on solar panel construction to counter an expected surge in investment in renewable energy. Aspen has long been known as one of the best places to escape for a weekend skiing, but the picturesque Colorado city has the potential to become the third American city to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2020. The new initiative, led by the Colorado Department of Energy and Natural Resources and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), could reduce the resort's carbon emissions by 59 percent by using wind, solar and hydro power from the Centennial State. In addition to the new solar project, Aspin Skiing Co. is working with the state of Colorado and other local governments to support a plan to close a coal-fired power plant and shift a much larger share of its clean energy to renewable sources such as coal and natural gas-fired wind and solar.
Aspen Snowmass generates a total of 171.2 kW, 147 kW of which is generated from a solar system installed at Aspen Skiing Co. "s Aspin Mountain Ski Resort and Telluride Ski & Golf, generating 808,881 kilowatt hours of electricity. In addition to the large photovoltaic system built for the water treatment plant, Aspens also taps into solar power from the city's water supply system and wastewater treatment plants.
Aspen now pays 6.8 cents for wind power from the Great Plains, up from 8.1 cents previously. Aspen now pays 5.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, or about $1,000 a year, more than double the amount it paid in the past for the same amount of wind power.
Aspen, Burlington and Greensburg also use a financial instrument called the Renewable Energy Credits, which allows utilities to claim environmental properties of energy generation without owning the electrons themselves. Aspen gets wind power from the Great Plains, Colorado's largest wind source, but the city also uses other sources such as solar panels, wind turbines and hydropower. Wind power, produced by the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, now provides 53% of Aspin's energy, and 46% comes from wind farms in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
Renewable energy incentives are available to offset the cost of installing a renewable energy generator on your property. Anyone who installs a solar system on their own home currently receives solar tax relief from the federal government. The fee collection program is used to finance the installation of solar panels, wind turbines, and hydro power plants, and to purchase wind power from wind generators in Colorado and Wyoming if necessary.
Sunrun's solar plans in Colorado work with your budget and lifestyle to create the best energy solution for you. Sunrun solar panels provide affordable and reliable electricity so you can enjoy the view of Colorado, have money in your pocket for more adventures and get out and have a solar system in Aspen. While solar technology is never counted towards your electricity or fuel, you will find that the more you install, the better you will find out what you have.
The fact that Aspen does not consume its energy, of course, does not mean that it is impossible to achieve 100% renewable energy in Colorado or nearby by 2040. Although there is still much room for growth, I believe that only three percent of Colorado's energy comes from wind and only two percent from sun.
It is exciting to see how the growing demand for renewable energy is being met by customers, "said Matthew GEO, Managing Director of Aspen Solar. Colorado Solar is motivated by a desire to protect the environment, reduce electricity costs, build a reliable grid, and promote a renewable energy economy. The Smart Energy Living Alliance was created when the Colorado Renewable Energy Alliance, Colorado Solar Alliance and Colorado Energy Council merged and formed SELA. GOGE is committed to leading Colorado by promoting renewable energy in the new energy economy.
Today, the city of Aspen's power grid uses more renewable energy than any other city in the state of Colorado, and its power supply is 46% hydropower, including more than 1,000 megawatts of wind, solar, and geothermal. MEAN has become the compensation authority for Espen and ensures that the municipal utility gets wind - generated energy when it needs it, and does not have to infect itself for unnecessary electricity. While Aspin gets power from utility Holy Cross Energy, it reduces its carbon footprint by using more renewable energy.
In 2010, the same year we achieved 100 percent renewable energy, we emitted 25,944 tons of CO2, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Colorado gets 78 percent of its electricity from coal and natural gas, but it forgets about solar and wind power just as much as it drives its cars.
For Georgetown and Aspen, 100 percent renewable energy means the city gets as much renewable power as we can get. Renewable energy is becoming cheaper in Colorado, and the more different applications you can use, the better and more economical the money is. Colorado allows for the use of solar, wind, water, geothermal and other renewable energy sources.