While other utilities are addressing their renewable energy goals by investing in large-scale solar and wind farms, Boulder community leaders are looking to see how a municipal utility could encourage more solar power through rooftop panels on commercial buildings and homes, the Boulder Daily Camera recently reported.
Data released by the City of Boulder shows that, in 2013, much of its renewable energy was coming from wind power and purchase agreements outside of the area.
Currently, only two percent of the Boulder’s renewable energy comes from local solar power, the article stated. I think that number would surprise most Boulder residents. There aren’t that many solar powered homes in Boulder.
A working group made up of industry representatives, technical and policy experts, and members of the Boulder community are hoping a municipal utility could reduce the barriers of rooftop solar panels and community solar gardens for apartment dwellers and others who can’t place panels on their rooftops. Some of the barriers include the soft costs of permitting and code requirements. It’s not the way a lot of utilities are going these days, admittedly.
The costs of rooftop solar powered homes are indeed higher than those associated with investment in large-scale renewable energy farms. However, what Boulder has going for it, beyond the determination of a working group, is a lot of sun and a community well versed in the benefits of solar power.
Much discussion remains to be had, the article noted, as net metering and improved solar storage that allows people with solar powered homes to opt out of the grid leaves those still dependent on the grid to shoulder the burden of its infrastructure. The working group is studying how several other cities are handling this situation, including Sacramento and Austin.
In Austin, the city is moving away from net metering and into a “value of solar” model, where everyone pays the same for electricity, but then a value of solar calculation is made each year — determining how much the city utility saved because of the solar provided — and customers with solar panels are reimbursed for their portion of that value.
If you’re looking for a community that is energy aware and looking to provide the utility of the future, Boulder Colorado is your place. And if you’re looking for solar powered homes in Boulder County we can help you find one. We’d love to talk more with you about Boulder and help you to make it your home. For more information, contact us. 303.545.6000 firstname.lastname@example.org