Solar Energy International (SEI) is launching a third and final round of Solarize, which is an educational community outreach program aimed at kickstarting a solar market in a region. Solarize has been successful in introducing 42 new solar systems to the region and garnering nearly $1 million in local investments, and now SEI is building off of past momentum and shifting its focus to major contributors to the Delta County economy: farms and businesses.
SEI has partnered with Delta County Economic Development, Inc. (DCED) in addition to official installers, Empowered Energy Systems LLC, Sunsense Solar and Black Canyon Resources LLC. The final round of Solarize will target a new audience, and will seek to create a sustainable renewable energy presence in the region. The program is expanded to include solar electric systems and micro-hydro.
The launch of Solarize falls in line with the county's groundbreaking adoption of C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy), a financing mechanism for commercial entities to fund energy efficiency building upgrades and renewable energy systems. The campaign will feature workshops aimed at the agricultural community and Delta County businesses. The utilization of C-PACE as a long-term, positive cash flow financing option in agricultural community has the potential to set a precedent for rural Colorado.
"Economic development has always been part of the core mission of of SEI's Solarize Delta County program," Kathryn Swartz, SEI executive director said. "Our goal is to strengthen the Delta County economy by encouraging energy resilience and encouraging more farms, ranches and businesses to go solar."
The program remains open to residential systems, and participants are eligible for a Solarize discount offered by partner installers. The Solarize online database to sign up opened April 18 and interested participants have until July 18 to register. The program launch date fell in line with a renewable energy financing workshop hosted by the Valley Organic Growers Association and featuring Empowered Energy Systems and the Solarize team. The Solarize team will host educational events throughout Delta County during that 13-week period.
The campaign kicks off with a launch event at CB's Tavern in Delta on April 26. For more information contact the program coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A collaborative effort between the Delta County Sheriff's Office and municipal law enforcement agencies throughout Delta County has resulted in a proposal for a 1 percent sales tax increase to fund public safety. A PowerPoint presentation titled "Back the Badge" is starting to make the rounds at city/town council meetings, service club luncheons and other events.