Renewable Energy

Goal

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?

Planting the Seeds for Golden’s Community Solar Garden

Solar Panels and a Soccer PlayerGolden’s Community Sustainability Advisory Board (CSAB) is taking steps to bring a community solar garden to Golden. The first step in the process is for citizens to vote whether to add renewable energy as an allowable land use at the Rooney Road Sports Complex. More than 20 sites were analyzed as potential locations for a community solar garden, and the Rooney Road Sports Complex was identified as the most feasible site in the Golden area. While no specific solar garden project is under consideration at this time, if voters approve the use of renewable energy at the site, next steps will be to amend the current lease with Jefferson County and look for a favorable project.

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, may not desire a solar installation on their own roof, or whose properties are poorly suited for solar panel installation.

For more information, visit the Community Solar Garden page or  download the Community Solar Project brochure.

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.”

Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing

Jefferson County, including the City of Golden, is a participating party in C-PACE, which enables owners of eligible commercial and industrial buildings to finance up to 100 percent of energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation eligible Improvements. Financing is provided by private capital providers at competitive rates with repayment terms up to 20 years.

“Commercial buildings currently account for about 20 percent of Colorado’s energy use,” said Paul Scharfenberger, chairman of the New Energy Improvement District board, a statewide district that operates and facilitates the C-PACE program. “Colorado’s commercial PACE program offers a financial tool to help spur energy efficiency and renewable energy investments in our state’s building infrastructure, providing long-term utility savings, while stimulating the economy.”

For more information or to apply for financing, visit the Colorado C-PACE website or contact Golden Sustainability Manager Theresa Worsham at goldensustainabilty@cityofgolden.net or the Jeffco property assessor’s office at assessor@jeffco.us

Effects Of Roofing Shingle Color On Energy Efficiency

The color of the shingles you choose can have a significant impact on the building’s energy efficiency. Attic temperatures can vary as much as 20 to 40 degrees, which in turn can reduce energy consumption by 20%. A study by the United States Department of Agriculture found that wood roofing panels under black shingles were ten to fifteen degrees warmer than the same panels under white shingles on a sunny day. In warmer climates, lighter colors will reduce heat absorption from the sun while cooler climates will want black shingles that help to melt winter snow. You can compromise the shingle color to better suit home design by selecting shingles with flex of white or grey in warmer climates. Consider blends like grays to get the most out of your shingles all year round.

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