Solar panel on a red roof

The Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center announced on Tuesday that a total of 14 current and former mayors representing 12 Colorado municipalities have joined the national Mayors for Solar Energy initiative.

"In 2014, Manitou Springs was proud to become the first city in the nation to have all of our facilities powered by a solar garden. We continue to encourage individual solar installations as well as joining the new Colorado Springs Utilities solar share program,” said Mayor Ken Jaray, noting that his solar panels were damaged in a recent hailstorm, prompting his participation in the CSU solar share.

The other localities involved in the coalition include Boulder, Breckenridge, Edgewater, Fort Collins, Frisco, Golden, Lafayette, Louisville, Nederland, Pueblo and Telluride.

More than 300 mayors nationally have signed on to the group’s letter, which states that “the U.S. has the potential to produce 100 times more solar power than the total amount of energy we consume each year,” and therefore solar energy should be “a much larger part of our energy mix."

Environment America, a network of 29 state environmental groups, coordinates the mayors’ project.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration found that between 2010 and 2017, Colorado more than doubled the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources, primarily from increased wind power installations. As of 2019, approximately 80% of the state’s electricity generation comes from natural gas and coal sources, with coal being the majority.

Among the rulemaking processes the Public Utilities Commission is conducting, a proposal to expand the capacity of community solar gardens could increase generation to 10 times the current amount installed.

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