In the past year CforSE has generated over 1,000 citizen letters to city council asking them to explore leasing roofs and parking lots to install City owned solar panels. This is the most affordable way for the community to maximize our solar potential without covering undeveloped land with panels. There are roughly three square miles of available roof/parking lots in town (the size of Horsetooth Reservoir). Last September council directed staff to explore the leasing idea.
Seven months later staff presented little more than a request for two more years to research options. This might sound reasonable until you consider that they’ve had ten years to evolve the solar program and haven’t substantially changed a thing.
The result of our ten-year-old policy is that lower income residents who don’t have solar are subsidizing a profit margin for residents and businesses that do have solar. The City could adopt policies now that fairly compensate solar owners and encourage solar development on parking lots, rooftops, and marginal lands like the landfill.
The longer the City delays, the more “greenfields” will be covered with solar. In fact the City has already contracted with a project on agricultural land in north Fort Collins. You can see this project from the Horsetooth foothills. Imagine an area of solar panels the size of the reservoir. Those panels should be on rooftops and parking lots, not agricultural land and greenfields.
As citizens, we need to hold the city council accountable to holding the city staff accountable to implementing policy that reflects our values. Your short email will make a difference!
Tell our City Leaders that you want City staff to move quickly to adopt solar policy that maximizes the potential for rooftop and parking lot solar.
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