Future of solar energy in Colorado Springs a little cloudy

April 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. — The future of solar energy in Colorado Springs is currently a little cloudy.

The new city council will vote on a resolution Tuesday that some claim would kill solar gardens in the Springs if passed.

The previous city council voted two weeks ago to approve an expansion of solar gardens but the new council, sworn in a week ago, isn’t so sure about their decision.

Current Council President Keith King proposed a resolution to withdraw the last council’s decision.

One local solar company said that decision would have a huge impact on the future of renewable energy in Colorado Springs.

“There’s a large number of customers participating in the community, institutions, large businesses and so on that were waiting on the tariff to be passed several weeks ago after eight months of public hearings,” David Amster-Olszewski, President and Founder of SunShare, said.

SunShare had been working with the previous city council to expand the program, a motion that passed on a 6 to 3 vote. But the new council wants a chance to have a say in the decision.

“We do have a chance as new council to before the tariff gets enacted on the first of May to sit down and really try to get both sides of the story,” Don Knight, new city councilmember, said,.

Knight said the resolution would delay the expansion and give the new council 60 days to hold a workshop to discuss it.

“I want to make sure that the business case closes. If we’re going to invest this much money of rate payer dollars, that the city will get a decent return on its investment,” Knight said.

But Amster-Olszewski said delaying solar progress further is only going to hurt local companies and the community.

“It doesn’t make sense for us to wait in Colorado Springs for the conversation that’s occurred over the last two years to occur again for the new council. It’s really important, we think, that they understand the facts before they take a vote to effectively kill this program,” Amster-Olszewski said.

If the resolution passes Tuesday SunShare said they will consider moving out of Colorado Springs.

“Tomorrow’s vote is 100 percent crucial. I can’t see us doing business in Colorado Springs anymore if we don’t have the support of this community behind renewable energy and behind looking forward to the future, and I’m sure that the other solar companies operating in this field would feel the same way,” Amster-Olszewski said.

The resolution would not affect current customers who are using solar energy.

To weigh in on the issue email city council at allcouncil@springs.gov

Tuesday’s council meeting is open to the public and begins at 1:00 p.m.

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