Delta County Continues ‘Mining’ The Sun

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Delta County is taking large steps to support homes and business owners to install solar power systems as part of their ‘Solarize Delta County’.

Solar Energy International is hoping with a new array added to Paonia High School, more areas will join in on mining the sun.

The 35 solar panels will cover a large portion of the school grounds and produce large amounts of energy saving the high school thousands of dollars.

“This is a way to boost the local economy, we think about stabilizing energy costs and supporting efficiency and that being important for residents being able to do that and to control their energy cost prices,” says Trish Thibodo, the Delta County Economic Development’s Executive Director.

So why go solar in Western Colorado?

“Germany is the number one place in the world for solar energy, but if you’re to put a single panel here on the Western Slope vs. Germany, it produces twice as much energy,” explains Gerald Espinosa with Solar Energy International. “So at 300 days of sunshine, we’re missing out on a lot of sun; so we talk about mining the sun.”

According to Delta County Economic Development members, this is the best thing for the areas future.

“This is about education, learning, involving the younger generations and future job and employment opportunities,” says Thibodo. “So, it’s the perfect way to start to build those opportunities for the youth in our community today.”

And students at Paonia High School agree.

They say solar isn’t just Delta County’s future, it’s theirs.

“Usually when you learn useful thing you never really get to apply them in high school, so this is kind of an immediate satisfaction of being able to apply something that I’ve recently learned,” says Paonia High School junior, Timothy Hellmer. “I feel like this could be a great economic boom in Delta County.”

The 10 kilowatt array is just another step in creating a completely solarized Delta County.

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