Citizens Energy Initiative

Our Goal



SLV Transmission Line

Solar on Public Lands





Citizens Energy Initiative
Our Goal

Recently named Colorado’s premiere “solar energy resource zone”, the San Luis Valley may soon be facing unregulated industrial solar development on a scale never seen before. The Citizens’ Renewable Energy Initiative is our local response to this “business as usual” approach to energy development.

From the epicenter we have been forced to read the fine print of the “new energy economy”. Unless care is taken, we see a grave danger of being led down a costly and circuitous path by our entrenched, old energy mindset.

Industrial scale solar development will require scraping thousands of acres of prime agricultural and wetlands, stringing the Valley with new high-voltage transmission lines, and – in the case of Concentrating Solar Power – consuming large quantities of water.

Without strong citizen involvement, solar development could degrade the Valley’s extraordinary beauty and unique sense of place values,fragment intact ecosystems and deprive citizens of the right to a sustainable future.

The San Luis Valley Citizens’ Energy Initiative makes a clean break with the old energy development model. It offers a new energy paradigm built on secure, decentralized, smart-grid technologies, progressive rate policies and a holistic approach to solving the problems of our ailing climate, communities and economy. It brings together a diversity of citizens, decision-makers and stakeholders who believe in a more intelligent and democratic path to a new energy future.

Through the Initiative, citizens will formulate a comprehensive plan for solar energy development that reflects the values, creative vision, needs and expertise of the people who live in the San Luis Valley. It will guide decisions on the siting and scale of solar facilities, identify best management practices, promote responsible regulation and a long-term development plan that ensures a prosperous future.

The Initiative is grounded in the belief that everyone in the San Luis Valley should profit from the sun – from seventh generation farmers and ranchers, small business owners, professionals, retirees, low income families and the unemployed, to artists and new age spiritual seekers – and that solar energy development should foster long-term economic health founded on our emerging culture of sustainability.

The Citizens Initiative holds the promise of empowering our rural community to gain control over rapid industrial-scale renewable energy development while forging a path to a truly renewable energy future.