Our beaming Colorado was one of six Western states selected to be a part of a large solar project sponsored by the United States Department of the Interior. The project, coined “All of the Above,” is slated to provide power to 700 million homes over the next 10 years, and is called “the nation’s first comprehensive plan to develop solar power on public land.” Some of the details include:
· Setting aside 285,000 acres that is supposed to have minimal impact on the environment
· Development in 17 solar-energy zones in California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah will move quickly because environmental impact studies have already been approved
· An additional 19 million acres have been selected for potential development
· The initial 7 projects will produce 6,000 megawatts of energy that can power nearly 2 million homes
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me…
But what does a project of this magnitude mean specifically for Colorado and the business environment? New or existing Colorado LLCs, S Corps or C Corps can be formed to support the burgeoning solar ecosystem. There could be a need for materials suppliers, cell and panel manufacturers, system integrators or other types of service providers, not to mention our region’s wealth of talent in the advanced energy industries. All of the projects in Colorado will take place in the San Luis Valley in Southern Colorado. The Colorado small business community is quite apparent in its support of clean energy initiatives: a Small Business Majority’s opinion poll found three-quarters of Colorado small business owners support government investments in clean energy and energy efficiency because this plays an important role in stimulating the economy and creating jobs now—while just 28 percent say such investments are a waste of money.
This forward momentum and federal funding in solar is welcome news to the entire state and may provide just the impetus that spurs growth and a bright future for the Colorado clean energy entrepreneurial and small business environment.
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“Solar Panels” under CC license by Spanginator