Speaker addresses audience at 2017 solar workshop

John Bringenberg, Colorado Solar Industries Association Board of Directors and State Policy Committee member, discusses barriers and opportunities for expanding solar energy in Colorado.
Photo by Erica Sparhawk

Working Together to Maximize Local Solar to Power Our Region

Workshop explores using solar
to create ‘clean energy corridor’

Regional effort linked to jobs and economic diversity

Garfield Clean Energy, CLEER and CORE sponsored a free workshop, “Working Together to Maximize Local Solar to Power Our Region,” on July 14, 2017, in Rifle.

The workshop focused on maximizing solar energy in Pitkin, Garfield and Eagle counties, with business, government and solar energy leaders attending.

Representatives from electric utilities, the solar industry and other organizations working to scale up solar energy in Colorado and diversify the economy discussed ways to maximize solar energy.

Topics included development of a regional “clean energy corridor” to maximize solar energy from Parachute to Vail to Aspen. This effort would help diversify the economy, expand opportunities for jobs, and build on regional economies of scale and momentum.

A joint regional application to participate in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Solar Energy Innovation Network was discussed as one action step to make the “clean energy corridor” vision a reality.

Increasing solar energy will also support the clean energy and carbon emissions targets that counties and communities have adopted. 

The four-hour workshop was held at the solar-powered Rifle Branch Library, 207 East Ave.  The library is one of 13 public buildings and facilities in Rifle powered by solar arrays, which generate a total of 3 megawatts of solar energy.

Speakers included Kevin Cray, solar trade relations manager for Xcel Energy, Bryan Hannegan, CEO of Holy Cross Energy and a former research and development leader with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Electric Power Research Institute, Kevin Brehm, rural electric co-op and municipal utility lead for the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Shine Initiative, and John Bringenberg, board member of the Colorado Solar Industries Association.

This workshop is a follow-up to the Clean Innovative Energy Sources workshop held March 3, 2017, when people from communities throughout the region expressed interest in working together to maximize local, clean innovative energy resources.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Rifle Branch Library
2017 East Ave., Rifle

to speaker presentations

Solar in Colorado: Statewide Perspective and Economic Opportunities
John Bringenberg, Colorado Solar Industries Association Board of Directors and State Policy Committee member
Presentation (2.6 MB)

Renewable Energy Choices: Leading the Nation in Renewable Eneregy for Our Customers
Kevin Cray, Solar Trade Relations Manager, Xcel Energy
Presentation (1.6 MB)

Community Solar
Paul Spencer, CEO, Clean Energy Collective
Presentation (635 KB)