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Providing a voice for community-based organizations and individuals that enrich the life of the Grand Valley FREE Volume #2 Number 11 INSIDE Flower Power New solar arrays provide efficient energy to Parachute Grand Valley Days photos page 3 Crime page 4 Junior Golf page 15 College opportunities page 21 Mt. Callahan page 23 Celebration planned for Aug. 27 By Heather McGregor, Garfield New Energy Communities Initiative Everyone is invited to a special grand opening celebration for Parachute’s three new solar electric arrays, including the unique solar flowers at the Parachute I-70 rest area. The celebration begins with comments from key players involved in making the solar arrays happen, followed by a reception with refreshments. Rest area volunteer Fern Stone stands with the three solar flowers. The flowers are 17 feet tall at their center points, and 17 feet in diameter. The eight-petal flowers are made from 16 triangular solar panels, two panels per petal, and the flowers are tilted to 34 degrees to maximize solar power generation. Tapping into the sun The grand opening will celebrate the solar flowers at the rest area as well as the solar Photo courtesy of Heather McGregor arrays installed at Parachute Town Hall and at the Parachute Water Treatment Plant – a total of 23 kilowatts of installed solar capacity. The three arrays are part of the Garfield New Energy Communities Initiative, which is using a large part of its grant money from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to install solar arrays on public buildings and facilities from Parachute to Carbondale. An Xcel Energy Solar Rewards rebate is also helping to fund the arrays. Another solar array is being installed on the remodeled Parachute Branch Library. A grand opening for the library and its array is set for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sept. 11, at the library, 244 Grand Valley Way, with a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. Both the Town of Parachute and the Garfield Public Library District are partners in the Garfield New Energy Communities Initiative. Solar arrays providing energy The Town of Parachute's three solar projects include two conventional roof-mounted arrays on town hall and the water treatment plant. The town hall array has 54 panels and the water plant array has 44 panels. Both will be capable of generating nearly 10 kilowatts of electricity, offsetting electric use in the buildings. The solar flowers at the rest area, however, are completely new and different. El Sol, owned by Ed Cortez of Carbondale, installed all three arrays after winning a competitive bidding process. Pattillo Associates Engineers Inc. of Glenwood Springs engineered the solar flowers, and Garfield Steel and Machine of Rifle manufactured the flower framework. Each flower can generate about 1.2 kilowatts of electricity. The Continued on page 6 Mid-August / Mid-September 2010


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