What’s driving sudden flare of solar energy and storage in Colorado?

Some of the 750,000 solar panels of the Bighorn Solar project in Pueblo are shown this Oct. 21, 2021 photo. The Evraz Steel Mill (shown at the top of the frame) will purchase the energy generated by the array to power a new rail mill currently under construction.
Mike Sweeney/Special to The Colorado Sun

Major solar flares hit Colorado, but not in the form of northern lights or the radio blackouts scientists have warned about in recent days.

Instead, the state has been absorbing powerful waves of solar and other renewable energy projects that independent experts say are keeping Colorado ahead of a fast-growing pack of successful green-development states.

Large projects across Colorado are being driven by the ongoing shift in the fundamental economics of energy toward cheaper renewables, experts say. Lucrative tax credits and grants from the Inflation Reduction Act pumped in accelerants.

“There’s this race to the top and Colorado is leading,” said Jacob Corvidae, an analyst and adviser in equitable climate action for the clean energy nonprofit RMI. And Colorado is in competition to see if it can keep securing that leader’s space in relation to all of its neighbors.

The surge is welcome but shouldn’t be a huge surprise to people following energy policy and economics, said Mike Kruger, chief of the Colorado Solar and Storage Association trade group.

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A surge of new solar and renewable energy storage projects across Colorado reflects both new subsidies and the plummeting costs of installing alternative energy facilities around the world. (RMI)

Read more from Michael Booth via The Colorado Sun

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