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Eagle County adding 500KW of solar at Garfield County Airport

June 29, 2016, 8:28 am

Eagle County will add another 500 kilowatts of solar power to its portfolio of renewable energy through a new investment in community solar.

The county is purchasing 4,445 panels at Clean Energy Collective’s array at the Garfield County Airport in Rifle.

eagle county solarThe $1.3 million purchase is being funded through existing reserves and will save the county over $90,000 each year on utility bills. This is the county’s second investment into community solar.

Investing in renewable energy is part of Eagle County’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both from county operations and within the community, while also reducing costs.

The latest investment is the sixth of its kind over the past two years, which includes installation of rooftop solar arrays on four county-owned buildings.

Combined, the county’s solar panels cut annual carbon emissions by 2,000 metric tons and reduce utility costs by over $300,000 per year, for an annual return of 7 percent.

“By participating in community solar, we’ve now offset 100 percent of electricity use at seven county facilities, including the Eagle County Building campus, the Justice Center, Eagle River Center, Eagle County Animal Shelter, Lake Creek Village offices, the ECO Transit bus barn in Leadville, and the Golden Eagle Senior Center,” said Commissioner Jill Ryan.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions while also cutting county expenses ties directly to our strategic plan goals of protecting the environment and being financially sound,” she said.

Eagle County’s environmental policy statement includes a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from county operations 5 percent per year, to achieve a 50 percent reduction by 2030.

For additional details, contact John Gitchell, the county’s environmental sustainability coordinator, at 970-328-8766.

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