Construction beginning this month on Craig’s solar garden
About a year ago, Moffat County approved construction of a solar energy garden in Craig. Construction was supposed to start and finish last year, but leasing issues prevented ground from breaking on the project.
Trapper Mine owns the mineral rights beneath the land the garden will be on. But Clean Energy Collective’s Director of Marketing Todd Davidson said the mine and his company came to an agreement and Davidson does not foresee any future issues.
Clean Energy Collective sent an update to members with reserved panels announcing construction will begin this month.
Richard Miller, Land Manager for Clean Energy Collective, said the project should wrap up within two months. Clean Energy Collective hires an outside electrical power contractors to build the gardens.
Miller said weather is the only factor that may slow construction.
“We can probably work in most conditions, but if it gets bitterly cold that’s not good,” Miller said. “We definitely want to get things with the racking system done before the ground freezes completely.”
Miller said there aren’t any land issues at Craig’s site like there are in others.
“I was at a site this morning in Aurora and that one had about 60 prairie dogs on it, and we don’t have anything like that on the site in Craig,” Miller said.
There are roughly four steps to building the garden; installing the racking, or vertical supports, system, tying structural pieces to the racking to support the panels, attaching and wiring the panels and wiring the system to an inverter.
The inverter changes the direct current generated by the panels into alternate current so the power generated can be hooked to the electrical grid.