Photo courtesy of John Leyba, The Denver Post

Weld County in Colorado produces the largest amount of oil in Colorado – but with the wells set to be decommissioned in a few dozen years, the area is experiencing a rush of interest regarding renewable energy. The Weld County government, seeking to prepare for the future and capitalize on this interest, has eased regulations for constructing solar arrays. The move has led to a boom in business for the region, with developers from across the county lining-up to erect utility-scale solar farms in the area. The demand is great as utilities try to meet consumer preferences and state goals for renewable energy generation. Xcel Energy, the largest utility in Colorado, draws only about 2% of its power from solar, compared with 23% from wind. “Whether or not you believe in global warming doesn’t matter with solar,” a program director with one of the interviewed solar array developers said. “Do you believe in stable electric rates?”

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