Denver’s government adds five solar panel fields to its clean energy cache

The sunlight will help the city meet a green energy goal.

Solar panels as awnings on townhomes inside the Geos Neighborhood in Arvada, March 26, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Solar panels as awnings on townhomes inside the Geos Neighborhood in Arvada, March 26, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photos

Denver taxpayers just bought the (solar) farm.

On Monday, the Denver City Council approved contracts with five solar farms, large swathes of land covered in sun-grabbing panels, worth $11.1 million over 20 years. The subscriptions will nudge the Hancock administration toward its goal of powering every city government building with renewable energy by 2025.

Denver’s almost 20 percent there.

“It’s really neat. We’ve been going at this goal for two years but we’re already at 18 percent of our goal,” said Wade Balmer with Denver General Services.

The five contracts approved Monday were with farms at Denver-based Oak Leaf Energy Partners. Denver’s government already had contracts with Oak Leaf and SunShare en route to meeting its goal.

Denver’s municipal buildings will use sunlight hitting solar panels in Watkins, an unincorporated town in Adams County, and Clifton, a town outside of Grand Junction.

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