MV Residents and Businesses May Purchase Discounted Solar Panels
MOUNTAIN VILLAGE – In partnership with the Clean Energy Collection and the San Miguel Power Association, the Town of Mountain Village this week unveiled a subsidy program that discounts the price of solar panels from SMPA’s Solar Array in Paradox Valley.
The new discount creates a subsidy of 40 cents per watt, reducing the price about $100, or 13 percent per panel; each panel is estimated to cost around $650 after the discount. Eligible customers must be Mountain Village residents or businesses. Residential customers that purchase up to 12 panels and commercial customers that purchase up to 40 will receive the discount, but the discount will not be applied to additional panels they buy beyond those amounts. Panel purchases include costs associated with maintenance and operation for 50 years, according to the CEC.
The Mountain Village Town Council allocated $20,000 for the subsidy program earlier this year. The subsidy program will be available at least through the end of the year, according to Deanna Drew, Mountain Village environmental services director. “We will see how well the program is received by the community. If it is a success, I’m sure the council would consider earmarking additional funds for continued subsidy next year,” said Drew.
Mountain Village is using the program to encourage residents and businesses to participate in renewable energy programs, since government operations reflect a small portion of the town’s energy consumption. Mountain Village Mayor Dan Jansen applauded the program, saying, “put it this way, if the Mountain Village government creates only five percent of total greenhouse gasses up here, what are we going to do about the other 95 percent?
“We pledged to reduce our footprint 20 percent by 2020, and we’re on track to hit that, but to really move the needle in Mountain Village, we need full participation from the community…. We’re trying to address this issue by using carrots, not sticks.”
The subsidy program comes as the Green Gondola Project, a program administered by the town, begins to install solar panels on the gondola system. The gondola, which connects Telluride and Mountain Village, already saves an estimated 45 metric tons of carbon emissions each year by keeping vehicles off the road. While the new panels will add only marginal emission reductions, Mountain Village will use the new solar panels to further advance its carbon footprint reduction initiatives.
“The solar panels on the gondola will show residents and visitors that the Mountain Village government firmly stands behind its pledge to reduce our footprint, and also to let businesses know that we’re leading by example,” said Jansen.
“Our company is thrilled with Mountain Village for creating this innovative program that offers businesses and residents a subsidy,” said Kristin Kuhlman, solar specialist at the CEC. “People are already calling me and they’re really excited about it. CEC, in conjunction with the San Miguel Power Association, is allowing people to be more involved in these programs and we thank the Town of Mountain Village for that.”
To purchase a solar panel, contact Kuhlman at 970/708-0985.