Colorado Springs City Council yesterday voted to expand its Community Solar Garden program, a subsidy for solar energy that allows consumers to invest in solar panels without installing them on their own rooftops. KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Developers of community solar gardens erect panels in sunny locations and sell or lease them to consumers who then get a credit on their electric bill. Councilwoman Jan Martin says she agrees with solar advocates who told council the program puts the city on the map as a capital of innovation.

“I do believe that If Colorado springs wants to attract and keep young professionals we have to start showing that we hear them and we want to become a community for them.”

But Colorado Springs Utilities has to pay more for a watt of solar energy compared to the cost of coal-based electricity. CSU estimates that the expansion of the pilot program will cost its ratepayers about $22 million over 20 years. While the subsidy boosts the average household’s electric bill just 24 cents a month, large industrial customers say it’s a burden for them. Local semiconductor maker Atmel figures the program adds $75,000 to its annual expenses.


Comments are closed.


October 10, 2015 | NPR · As California tightened its digital privacy protections, news involving Google, Pandora and other firms highlighted the way companies increasingly rely on data about their users. How much do we care?

AFP/Getty Images
October 10, 2015 | NPR · Interested in hearing more from Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but a little hesitant to declare to your friends that you “like” them?

October 10, 2015 | NPR · The rain could be locally heavy, but it’s not expected to be torrential. The state, however, is still recovering from historic floods. Parts of I-95 are still closed.

Arts & Life

October 10, 2015 | NPR · Laura Anne Gilman creates an authentically spooky Old West in her novel, where it seems perfectly reasonable that the Devil might wear a sharp suit, run a saloon, and always stay true to his bargains.

Getty Images for The Tonight Show
October 10, 2015 | NPR · In the 1970s, families would sit down together every Saturday to watch The Carol Burnett Show. The first five seasons of the legendary variety show are now out on DVD.

Courtesy of Harper
October 10, 2015 | NPR · Biographer Jonathan Bate says his job is to write about “the quality and endurance of the literary work.” His new biography has been disavowed by the Hughes estate.


October 10, 2015 | NPR · This Saturday is Patti Smith Day in Boston. The rocker, now 68, not only won the 2010 National Book Award for her memoir, but has long been known as “the punk poet laureate.”

Courtesy of the artist
October 10, 2015 | NPR · Copeland has been recording since her teens and performing even longer, thanks to her bluesman father. These days, though, she’s creating a sound that’s distinctly her own.

Courtesy of the artist
October 10, 2015 | NPR · The two powerhouse musicians are teaming up to interpret the work of Jerome Kern. They join NPR’s Scott Simon to discuss what makes a timeless pop song.

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac