Solar Resources

  • A
  • A
  • A

  • Solar Design

    Applying for a building permit is simple. 

    Financing Options for Solar

    • Private Loans. Solar loan payments are often less than your electric bill and offer fixed rates and flexible terms. Contact your local bank or credit union to ask about programs or check out this guide to solar financing from NREL pdf icon.
    • Third Party Financing. Solar Leasing or Power Purchase Agreements (PPA). In the PPA model, an installer/developer builds a solar energy system on a customer’s property at no cost. The solar energy system offsets the customer’s electric utility bill, and the developer sells the power generated to the customer at a fixed rate, typically lower than the local utility. At the end of the PPA contract term, property owners can extend the contract and even buy the solar energy system from the developer. In the lease model, a customer will sign a contract with an installer/developer and pay for the solar energy system over a period of years or decades, rather than paying for the power produced. Solar leases can be structured so customers pay no up-front costs, some of the system cost, or purchase the system before the end of the lease term. Similar leasing structures are commonly used in many other industries, including automobiles and office equipment.
    • Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing.  Not currently an option for Golden residents. (Learn more here pdf icon.)
    • Rebates or Incentives.  Learn more pdf icon about current incentives in Golden.
    • Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is a 30 percent tax credit for solar systems on residential (under Section 25D) and commercial (under Section 48) properties. Under current law, the ITC will remain in effect through December 31, 2016.
    • Solar Systems are exempt from property taxes. Residential photovoltaic installations and some other renewable energy installations, like wind, up to 2 megawatts in size are 100 percent exempt from property taxes in Colorado. The system must primarily be used to supply electricity to the onsite home or building.

    Learning More about Solar

    • Free Training.  Want to learn more about renewable energy?  Check out this online course pdf icon
    • Community Solar.  Since 2009, Golden has actively pursued options for siting one or more community solar “gardens” in Golden to allow wider access to solar investment for residents and businesses. 

    Community Solar Gardens are allowed in all zone districts in Golden (city code 18.28.030)Systems over 100kw in size require a special use permit (city code 18.28.040).

    Municipal Solar Projects

    Solar Panels on the Golden Community CenterIn August 2013, City Council took a significant step forward toward achieving its renewable energy goals.  Solar panels are under construction at nine City facilities including the Tony Grampsas Gymnasium, the City’s maintenance shops, Splash at Fossil Trace, the Public Parking Garage at 1250 Jackson Street, and the Public Works and Planning Administrative Building.

    In 2007, Golden’s City Council passed Resolution 1792, which included a goal of reducing energy consumption by 20% and producing 50 percent of the City’s total energy consumption by renewable energy by 2017. In 2009, the City implemented energy efficiency upgrades for lighting, heating & air conditioning, and automatic controls (occupancy sensors, lighting shut-offs) and the solar thermal system to heat the Golden Community Center pool. The new solar PV project brings the City up to 10 percent of the total electric consumption. Energy production is guaranteed through an energy performance contract with McKinstry Inc., located in north Golden and the project will also use the services of local solar installers. Once construction is complete in December, McKinstry will provide performance measurement and verification services to guarantee the City’s cost savings. The $3.2 million project is expected to be paid back with energy savings over 20 years.

    “The project demonstrates a good public-private partnership that actually takes advantage of what we do best and what the private sector does best as well,” said Councilor Bill Fisher.