Renewable Energy


Increase our community’s use of renewable sources of energy.

  • For the City of Golden, increase to 50% the proportion of its energy use derived from renewable energy sources within ten years.
  • For the community, increase to 20% the proportion of its energy use derived from renewable energy sources within ten years.

How is Golden achieving these goals?

Steps Toward Golden’s Community Solar Project

On the 2017 ballot, Golden citizens will have the opportunity to vote in favor of providing a location for a Community Solar Garden. A Community Solar Garden is a photovoltaic (PV) solar system that generates renewable electricity for which utility customers can purchase subscriptions. A Community Solar Garden provides an opportunity for residents and business owners who could not otherwise do so to invest in solar energy production. Specifically, this may be of interest to those who rent their home or business, cannot afford to invest in rooftop solar on their property, or whose properties are poorly suited for solar panel installation.

The Colorado Community Solar Gardens Act (HB 101342) was enacted in 2010 to provide for Community Solar Gardens, as a way to broaden access to solargenerated electricity for Coloradans. With its strong commitment to sustainability, Golden is a statewide leader in this realm. Golden’s target for increased renewable energy generation is inspiring and ambitious: 50% of the City and community electricity use is to come from renewable energy sources by 2027. A Community Solar Garden will allow our community to make substantial progress towards this goal.

For more information, download the Community Solar Project brochure pdf download.

A Solar Pledge

In August 2013, City Council took a significant step forward toward achieving its renewable energy goals. Solar panels were constructed at nine City facilities including the Golden Community Center, Tony Grampsas Gymnasium, the City’s maintenance shops, Splash at Fossil Trace, and the Public Works and Planning Building.

Solar PanelsThe adopted sustainability goals include city requirements for reducing energy consumption by 20% and producing 50% of the municipality’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, automatic lighting shut-offs) and the solar thermal system to heat the Golden Community Center pool. The new solar PV projects bring the City up to 10 percent of the total electric consumption. Energy production is guaranteed through an energy performance contract with local Golden company, McKinstry Inc., and the project was constructed with local solar installers, Buglet Solar and Golden Solar.  The $2.9 million project is projected to be paid back with energy savings over 20 years.

Mayor Marjorie Sloan called the decision “epic,” and Councilor Bill Fisher stated, “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.”

Experts Weigh In On Renewables

Energy RETAC Report CoverThe Renewable Energy Technical Advisory Committee (RETAC) was a short-term committee established by City Council under City of Golden Resolution No. 2174. After four months of meetings by the RETAC, a final report pdf download was provided to City council on June 7, 2012.

The Renewable Energy Technical Advisory Committee (RETAC) was a short-term committee established by City Council under City of Golden Resolution No. 2174. After four months of meetings by the RETAC, a final report pdf download was provided to City council on June 7, 2012.

RETAC’s Goal

  • To identify a range of potential strategies for achieving the city’s renewable energy goals, for consideration by the community Sustainability Advisory Board and City Council. This also includes recommendations about which the strategies appear to be the most promising for achieving the city’s goals at a reasonable cost.
  • To provide advice about leveraging the city’s relationships with the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and Colorado School of Mines and also about potential collaborations with these institutions to aid in achieving the city’s renewable energy goals.

The Report is divided into four key elements

1. Electricity
  • Least-cost options such as buying Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).
  • WindSource investment – paying a slight premium for electricity generated by regional wind farms.
  • Large-scale solar photovoltaic systems, including community solar gardens, funded through power purchase agreements or aggregating purchases with several government agencies such as Jefferson County or CSM.
  • Hydroelectric projects at the City’s reservoirs in Clear Creek County.
  • Small-scale wind turbines.
2. Natural Gas
  • Solar Thermal, as a green building strategy to reduce water and space heating demand.
  • Geothermal, referring to ground source heat pump technology for new and remodeled single structures.
  • Biomass, as a potential to utilize MillerCoors waste products or landfill methane capture.
3. Transportation
  • Fuel alternatives, including biofuel, electric, natural gas, and propane.
  • Consideration for widening public access to alternative fueling stations.
  • Vehicle efficiency, such as continuing to optimize the City’s fleet and procurement policies.
4. Energy Efficiency
  • If the City is able to meet its energy reduction goals, a lesser investment in renewables is required.

Additional Resources

COG Mesa

 Golden has 402 acres of open space
and maintains 253 acres of parks right within the city itself.

Additional Resources

City of Golden, Colorado
COG Mesa