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Solar gardens topic at next CDC meeting

By Muriel Eason
Special to The SUN

The next meeting of the Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation, will take place at 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5, at the PLPOA Vista Conference Room, 230 Port Ave.

The meeting will feature the last in the series on renewable energy initiatives in Archuleta County. The presenter will be Udgar Parsons, and the topic will be “Solar Gardens.”

A solar garden is a centralized solar electric array with multiple subscribers connected to the local utility grid. Subscribers may purchase a portion of the power produced by the array and receive a credit on their electric bill for electricity sold back into the grid from the solar array. Utility customers within the solar garden’s service area, including residences, businesses, local governments, non-profits, and faith-based organizations, can all subscribe to power from the sun.

Unlike big power plants, a solar garden is a distributed power generation project. Distributing power production provides benefits to communities beyond local, clean and more affordable energy. It also creates jobs locally, avoids destroying delicate habitats and bypasses the need for inefficient transmission lines, which lose power during transmission and can take many years to put in place. It helps ensure that the benefits of renewable energy go to the people who need the power and that’s all of us.

There will also be a discussion on the importance of renewable energy initiatives.

Parsons is well qualified to present on this topic, as he has generated his own power from the sun, living totally off the grid for the last 18 years.

His company, Growing Spaces, also has a grid-tied solar electric system that generates 90-percent of the power for his manufacturing facility in Pagosa Springs.

This story was posted on August 1, 2013.