The Ouray County Land Use Department released a statement Wednesday morning, Nov. 10, saying that Sun Edison representative Bryan Hammond notified County Planner Mark Castrodale by telephone that the proposed solar farm project won't be pursued. Hammond cited unexpected funding issues that directly impacted the proposed project. Hammond relayed to Castrodale that Sun Edison hopes to work with Ouray County in the future, but does not have any plans to pursue other projects in Ouray County at this time.
Asked if he was surprised by Sun Edison’s decision, Castrodale told The Watch, “Not so much.” He said he didn’t believe the “unexpected funding issues” were related to, or is code for, local opposition to the proposed 20-acre project at Angel Ridge Ranch.
In fact, Castrodale said, “Bryan [Hammond] told me soon after the Joint Planning Commission vote [to recommend disapproval] that upper management at Sun Edison had told him they were going to take another look at this particular project. It seemed to me it was not related to the planning commission vote.”
As for the contract Sun Edison has with San Miguel Power Association, Castrodale said Hammond had told him he “didn’t know how SMPA would proceed.”
A call into SMPA general manager Kevin Ritter, had not been returned by press time.