A grant of $7.14 million was awarded by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) to support solar projects throughout the region. The grants, which were provided in the form of Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance Funds (EIAF), were split between Steamboat Springs and Craig cities. The Aurora Campus Community and additional projects throughout the state, including a Colorado community solar project, were also included.
DOLA stated that $2 million was awarded to Craig, CO to support a Colorado Community Solar project being built next to the Yampa Valley Electric Association. The garden, which is still under development, is designed to provide regional businesses and communities the ability to purchase subscriptions from solar developers. Few details have been provided regarding the project, but typical community solar programs offer low-cost solar energy and a monthly return on utility bills.
The DOLA grants are also supporting solar programs across the state. At Aurora Campus Community, a grant for $780,000 was provided to build bus canopies outfitted with solar arrays. Additional solar installations are planned for the City of Steamboat Springs, with a $2.1 million grant being spread across a series of solar projects. DOLA hopes the money will fund installations at 13 different municipal buildings. Eight of the 13 will be ground-mounted facilities totaling 1.8-megawatts. The remaining five will be installed on rooftops.
According to DOLA, similar grants from EIAF programs will continue to roll out. The hope is to continue providing beneficial projects to local communities and positively impact towns, cities, and counties. With more funding, the State of Colorado will have additional opportunities to push community solar programs, delivering safe, clean energy to homeowners, small businesses, and tenants.
In 2020, DOLA provided more than $47 million of EIAF funding to fund 137 projects across Colorado. $13 million of that went toward more than 20 Renewable and Clean Energy Initiative project.