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Posted on: June 16, 2022

San Miguel County Celebrates Solar Powered Success

San Miguel County Celebrates Solar Powered Success

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

San Miguel County Celebrates Solar Powered Success

Progress of the Uncompahgre Solar Co-op attributed to collaboration amongst partners

Media Contact: Mike Bordogna, County Manager, 970.728.3844, mikeb@sanmiguelcountyco.gov

(June 16, 2022) - San Miguel County, CO --- The 2022 Uncompahgre Solar Co-op successfully delivered education around solar energy throughout the county, rallying more than 90 members to join the co-op since January. The success was in large part thanks to the collaboration between many local partners including the Town of Mountain Village, San Miguel County, Solar United Neighbors, San Miguel Power Association (SMPA), Solar Energy International (SEI), and EcoAction Partners.

Of the more than 90 families within San Miguel County who signed up for the Uncompahgre Solar Co-op, 10 have already committed to moving forward with solar. These 10 households represent over 65 kilowatts of installed solar capacity. Individual proposals for members are still being processed as individuals explore their options. Solar co-op members have until July 4, 2022, to sign a contract through the program.

San Miguel County allocated $5,000 in rebates available to income-qualified customers to-date in 2022. An additional $75,000 is available for members and deed-restricted residents within the Town of Mountain Village with funding provided by the Town and the Telluride-Mountain Village Owners Association. Together, this funding is helping to increase access to the benefits of solar energy. Conversations have begun to expand the impact of the Uncompahgre Solar Co-op in 2023 with further regional collaboration and partnership. 

The community-driven program has successfully executed various events and webinars which reached hundreds of community members, including the fourth-grade students at Telluride Intermediate School. Program outreach was specifically designed to answer questions about financing, how solar works, how co-op membership works, the path to net zero for all community members, and energy efficiency rebates and savings. As local communities consider future solar co-ops, interested stakeholders and community groups are encouraged to reach out to San Miguel County, the Town of Mountain Village, and EcoAction Partners so that they may design future solar and energy efficiency education with even more community input. 

“San Miguel County is incredibly happy with the number of residents that have gotten on board with this unique opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint and lower their energy bills. We hope to continue our work with these partners, and identify others interested, to provide new and innovative carbon-reduction opportunities.” said Sheamus Croke, a San Miguel County representative.

EcoAction Partners, the sustainability non-profit that facilitates the San Miguel regional climate action plan, has been instrumental in performing outreach for the co-op and helping people understand the benefits of solar. The 2021 Mountain Village solar co-op had the second highest close rate in the state at 37.8 percent, which resulted in 68.8KW of solar capacity being installed. The 14 confirmed contracts are expected to mitigate 1,517.3 metric tons of CO2, the equivalent of removing 13.2 cars from the road annually for 25 years.

Energy consumption is the largest piece of the carbon reduction puzzle. The participation of so many San Miguel County residents in the solar co-op is a significant step in supporting the regional goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030. San Miguel County aims to facilitate a variety of opportunities to reduce carbon emissions in the coming years, with the addition of solar cooperatives being just one of these many efforts.

About Solar United Neighbors

Solar United Neighbors is a nonprofit organization that works in Colorado and nationwide to represent the needs and interests of solar owners and supporters. Solar co-ops are part of the organization’s mission to create a new energy system with rooftop solar at the cornerstone. Solar United Neighbors holds events and education programs to help people become informed solar consumers, maximize the value of their solar investment, and advocate for fair solar policies.

More information about San Miguel County: https://www.sanmiguelcountyco.gov/

More information about the Town of Mountain Village: https://townofmountainvillage.com/

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