KUSA – It’s a big weekend for solar-energy resource awareness in Colorado. 9NEWS spoke with the United States Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu who came to Denver to announce new efforts to drive grid-parity solar – to get the solar costs the same as other forms of energy – within the decade.

This is all a part of the Energy Department’s SunShot Initiative, which aims to drive solar to cost-competition with other energy sources by 2020.

The SunShot Grand Challenge Summit, being held in Denver this week, is a meeting of the most influential minds in the solar industry. The Summit offers solutions to energy and money-saving measures. Secretary Chu announced nearly $8 million in total to nine small businesses across the country to lower soft costs which can amount to almost half the cost of residential solar systems. Read the rest of this entry »

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By Jane S. Brautigam and Matthew Applebaum
The public power movement of the early 20th century was driven by dreamers who envisioned a world of inexpensive and reliable power. The people of Boulder have a similar vision — not only of affordable, reliable electricity, but also of electricity that comes from renewable resources that do less harm to our planet.

For years, our community has tried to work with our provider, Xcel Energy, to meet our energy and environmental needs. The investor-owned utility’s response has always been the same: Xcel cannot do for Boulder what Xcel cannot do for everyone. Read the rest of this entry »

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Former Gov. Bill Ritter often touted the “New Energy Economy,” but a House committee Wednesday passed a bill recasting the mission of a state agency Ritter used to promote renewable energy — even airbrushing his catch phrase from the law.

House Bill 1315, sponsored by Rep. John Becker, R-Fort Morgan, but backed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, would change the mission — and the name — of the Governor’s Energy Office. The agency, first created as the Office of Energy Management and Conservation in 1977, was reborn as the Governor’s Energy Office under Ritter, a Democrat, in 2007 as the administration’s spearpoint for promoting the “New Energy Economy.” Read the rest of this entry »

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The U.S. solar energy industry installed a record 1,855 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2011, more than doubling the previous annual record of 887 MW set in 2010, according to the latest U.S. Solar Market Insight report. The record amount of solar installations is enough to power more than 370,000 homes, and represents a 109 percent growth rate in 2011. It is the first time the U.S. solar market has topped one gigawatt (1,000 MW) in a single year. In the fourth quarter of 2011 alone, the industry installed 755 MW, up 115 percent from Q4 2010, for a second consecutive record-breaking quarter. GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA®) estimate the U.S. solar market’s total value surpassed $8.4 billion in 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

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Xcel Energy’s recent letter to Boulder ratepayers included several significant mischaracterizations and thinly veiled threats. Contrary to its intentions, the letter confirms that our community is right to be moving towards a separation with Xcel.

Last fall, Boulder voters narrowly passed ballot initiatives 2B and 2C. The initiatives came in response to Xcel’s continuing commitment to coal-fired electricity, inability to bring on renewable energy at a sufficient level and ongoing rate increases. Furthermore, decisions last year to make public Read the rest of this entry »

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By Tor ‘Solar Fred’ Valenza
January 6, 2012 | 4 Comments

Boulder, Colorado has been on my solar radar for a number of years. It’s one of the cities that I covered in 2009 when part of my job was tracking solar rebates. They were generous then—around $3/watt… less so now. But those generous rebates and other factors have created a beautiful and inspiring solar community, although it’s not a perfect solar world. Read the rest of this entry »

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By Howard Pankratz
The Denver Post

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission today denied Xcel Energy’s request for an interim rate increase of $100 million.

Xcel had estimated that it would suffer at least a $50 million revenue gap if an interim electricity-rate increase was not approved by the commission.

The commission said Xcel failed to demonstrate that it would be adversely impacted by maintaining current rates during the six-month period while its request for a $141.9 million rate increase is fully reviewed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Consumer advocates, some of Colorado’s biggest companies, senior citizens and utility regulators are opposing Xcel Energy’s bid for a no-hearing, interim $100 million electricity-rate hike.
The challenges — in filings with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission — contend that Xcel has failed to prove the financial necessity of the increase and that the figure is too high.
Xcel, with 1.3 million customers the state’s largest utility, is seeking a $142 million rate increase, a process that will take months.
But citing a 2010 law, Xcel wants the utilities commission to rule in January on an interim hike without public hearings. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rec Center Solar Project Ready to Shine

{ December 29th, 2011 }

ALAMOSA — Alamosa’s recreation center will soon be partially powered by the sun.

Custom Solar completed a 101-killowatt solar project this week that will provide a portion of the power needs for the rec center. Custom Solar Owner Willie Mein, PE, said the system would be turned on in about a week, on January 6.

The approximately $360,000 project employed many local individuals and companies while under construction in the last month, and Mein said he was impressed by the quality of workmanship afforded locally. Read the rest of this entry »

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Company’s PUC filing outlines lessons learned
By Laura Snider Camera Staff Writer
Posted: 12/25/2011 11:34:31 PM MST

Corrections and clarifications: The original version of this story misreported the number of minutes of outages that have been avoided thanks to the installation of the smart grid. The actual number is 28,000 minutes per feeder, and one feeder serves about 2,500 customers. The original version of this story also attributed a statement to former city councilman Steve Pomerance that was incorrect because the reporter gave Pomerance the wrong figure for customer minutes out. Read the rest of this entry »

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