Golden residents could havetheir firstcommunity solar garden if voters approve the use of renewable energy on a portionof the Rooney Road Sports Complex, which houses lacrosse, football and soccer fields.
Golden City Council unanimously voted …
Golden residents could havet heir first community solar garden if voters approve the use of renewable energy on a portion of the Rooney Road Sports Complex, which houses lacrosse, football and soccer fields.
Golden City Council unanimously voted Aug. 10 to put the question on the upcoming November ballot. Councilor Casey Brown was not present.
A community solar garden is a photovoltaic (PV) solar system that generates renewable electricity for which utility customers can purchase subscriptions.
The ballot initiative concerns land use for a site at sports complex at 101 Rooney Road. The land is owned by Jefferson County and leased to Golden for recreational use. To be able to use a portion of the site for a community solar garden requires a citizen vote to approve the use of renewable energy at the site.
If voters approve that use, the next step would be amending the lease with the county.
“We’re embarking on something new,” Golden Mayor Marjorie Sloans said.
Because it is now a ballot question, Colorado election laws prohibit the city from spending money to advocate for it. The legwork will now be done by volunteers not affiliated with the city’s government.
But Jordan Beezley, chair of the Community Sustainability Advisory Board, anticipates the board will bring something to council in September requesting council’s formal support of the ballot issue.
Everything is still “very early action,” said Theresa Worsham, the City of Golden’s sustainability coordinator. “There is no feasible project right now.”
Details on the actual solar garden project will follow the outcome of the November vote, Beezley said.
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.
The site, built on top of a landfill, is about 50 acres, and the solar garden would use about 10 acres. Because it is a brownfield site, meaning there are some ground contamination concerns, there are only a few things that it can be used for, said Whitney Painter, a Golden resident who sits on the board of the Community Sustainability Advisory Board. One of them is renewable energy, she said.
“From our perspective, it’s a win for everyone,” Painter said. “There would still be room for soccer, and a solar garden would be a use that can benefit the entire community.”