Breckenridge is striving to be powered entirely by renewable energy by 2035.
So how did we get here? A task force was created in March of 2017 by the direction of the Breckenridge Town Council. They instructed staff to form a panel and return with recommendations for moving Breckenridge toward a 100 percent renewable energy goal.
They have since met four times since and have created a renewable energy plan – now ready for council consideration and containing a series of nonbinding recommendations for achieving two goals.
One goal focuses on having all town facilities running on 100 percent renewable energy by 2025. While the other aims to have the entire town, including homes and businesses, doing the same by 2035.
Town facilities are currently receiving about 21 percent of their power from renewable resources while Breckenridge as a whole stands at 3.5 percent.
Moving toward the future
In order to make Breckenridge be powered 100 percent by renewable engery for town facilities, businesses and private residences, a second solar garden at the McCain property north of Coyne Valley Road would be necessary.
However, there are some obstacles. The McCain property is a 128-acre tract of land that’s owned by the town. A master site-plan calls for another solar garden in addition to one that’s already there which would require an estimated additional $120,000 worth of groundwork for the second installation.
Another recommendation asks the town to look into buying land or to become the primary tenant in a solar garden in an adjacent county, possibly outside of Leadville or Fairplay. It could be achieved with little to no upfront costs for the town.
According to the plan, there are a few variations on how a solar garden in an adjacent county that serves Breckenridge could take shape. Breckenridge could become the anchor tenant and a solar provider could assume all upfront costs; Breckenridge could agree to buy solar panels from a solar provider in an adjacent county; or the town could purchase land and develop a solar garden itself.
Other task force recommendations listed in the proposed roadmap include:
- Putting more money toward energy-efficiency projects in Breckenridge while considering a new audit of town facilities.
- Purchasing solar power from Xcel through a SolarConnect program that is expected to be released in the coming years.
- Hydro power at Tarn Dam
- Small-scale hydro and wind-energy projects
- Putting solar panels on town projects, including workforce housing
- Community outreach programs, including renewable energy education for businesses and residents, and potential financial incentives for renewable installation.
For more information about renewable energy in Breckenridge or how you can use renewable energy in new construction or a current residence give us a call today at (970)453-1450.