While the western portion of Garfield County is booming with oil and gas development, and the associated environmental impacts, the eastern end of the county is looking in a different direction for energy production.
Carbondale Question 2F on the Nov. 7 ballot will ask voters to allow the town of Carbondale to issue up to $1.8 million in Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) to construct and operate two large-scale solar systems.
The proposed systems would provide about 250 kilowatts (KW) of power. One of the systems would be the largest solar system in western Colorado.
Voting “yes” on 2F will increase the town’s debt, but will not raise local taxes. Revenue from the solar systems will pay off the bonds over the next 20 years. And, under a provision of the 2005 Energy Incentives Tax Act, the interest on the CREBs will be paid by the U.S. Government.
Carbondale trustees unanimously decided to pursue the CREBs after the town’s advisory environmental board produced the Carbondale Energy Plan earlier this year. The plan outlines specific ways Carbondale can reduce its contribution to global warming.
The CREBs will fund two separate solar projects, one for 50 kilowatts (KW) and one for 200 KW. The 50 KW system will be located at the Carbondale Elementary School (the town is in negotiations with the school district to purchase the property) or the new recreation center and the larger system will be located either at Colorado Rocky Mountain School or at the town’s Roaring Fork water plant.