The Future of Solar Energy?

By Mike Rosso

High on a ridgetop south of Salida sits the possible future of solar energy generation.

In May 2010 the SolFocus Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) system, the first of its kind in Colorado, began generating electricity from the sun on property owned by Salidans Michael and Joyce Ferree.

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Chaffee County Geothermal Offers Promise, Raises Concerns

Graphic courtesy of Mt. Princeton Geothermal LLC

by Ron Sering

With the BLM’s announcement of a lease auction of nearly 800 acres in the vicinity of Mt. Princeton hot springs, the area could be the site of the state’s first geothermal power plant. Not everyone is happy about it.

Geothermal energy uses heat generated by volcanic activity beneath the earth. Applications include direct use, such as collecting hot water in a pool, or heating buildings such as homes or greehhouses, or, in a unique local case, for aquaculture to raise fish and reptiles. Colorado Gators in Mosca started as an aquaculture facility, later adding alligators which have generated tourism.

Geothermal generation of electricity began in the Lardarello region of Italy, where a power plant has been in steady use since 1913. The plant generates approximately 4.8 billion kilowatt hours per year and serves more than a million homes. The facility creates steam by pumping cold water onto hot rocks below the surface, which in turn drives turbines to generate electricity.

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Poles of Stone

by Ron Flannery

We were motoring up U. S. 50 in the canyon east of Cotopaxi, Colorado. As usual, my dad scanned things beyond the road itself. Suddenly, he said, “Yep, they’re still there.” Not seeing anything but the steep canyon wall on one side and the Arkansas River on the other, I asked, “What’s still there?”

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The night the lights went out

Brief by Central Staff

Electricity – January 2003 – Colorado Central Magazine

Salida and environs were left in the dark for several hours just as the sun set on Saturday, Nov. 23.

That the electricity went out at dusk was not a coincidence, according to Steve Ralstead, who handles media relations for Xcel Energy, the company that acquired New Century energy, which was the company that acquired Public Service Co. of Colorado.

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