Solar panel proposal needs another look


Craig Daily Press Editorial Board members:

• Noelle Leavitt Riley, Craig Daily Press managing editor

• Renee Campbell, Craig Daily Press general manager

• Amy Fontenot, Craig Daily Press office/circulation manager

• Randy Looper, owner of the Elk Run Inn

• Amanda Field, Wells Fargo home mortgage consultant in Craig

• Ken Wergin, retired

Yampa Valley Electric Association is required by law to have 30 percent of its energy come from renewable energy — solar or wind — by 2020.

The Craig Daily Press ran an article Wednesday talking about how YVEA was considering contracting a solar garden with Clean Energy Collective that would have roughly 2,300 solar panels that could provide power to 200 homes.

Specifically, Clean Energy Collective wants to rent land in Craig for the low price of $1,200 per year, and charge residents $800 to buy a solar panel, resulting in $45 per year in savings for consumers who opt to purchase a panel.

We think this is a bad business deal for YVEA and Craig residents. The numbers don’t make sense, and the savings are even more concerning.

Although we understand that YVEA needs to find ways to bring renewable energy to Craig, we think it should go back to the drawing board.

We believe that Clean Energy Collective would charge way too much for solar panels with a very small return for consumers.

We’d like to see Craig residents get more for their money, as well as the city. It’s great that the city can make a profit from solar panels, but $1,200 per year seems very low.

Another issue that arose from the proposed panels was where they would be located. Clean Energy Collective wanted to build a 5-acre solar panel garden next to the Public Safety Center of First Street.

We feel that YVEA and Clean Energy Collective should build the garden on the electric association’s land, that way it can show-off its new required renewable energy source on its own property.

Ultimately, we want to see better financials for the required renewable energy than the current proposal.


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