Telluride to breathe a bit easier with backup
TELLURIDE, Colo.—After a decade of wrangling and some scary power outages, Telluride will get a new electrical transmission line from the outside world later this year.
Just last Christmas, the lights went off, putting the high-end holiday crowd into candlelight and cold cuts. But the gnawing fear of some in telluride was that everything might get shut down for days.
Two transmission lines reach Telluride. One is vulnerable to avalanches and wildfires, and the second is 60 years old, near the end of its productive life.
Tri-State Generation and transmission, the wholesale cooperative provider, wanted to replace the old line, but the proposed routing involved lines across the rolling, calendar-perfect mesas near Telluride. Homeowners there wanted the line put underground, and ultimately that is what will happen.
Undergrounding costs considerably more, however, and that's where compromises were finally struck, report the Telluride Daily Planet.
Pitkin County decides to regulate solar panels
ASPEN, Colo.—The Pitkin County commissioners have decided they need to regulate placement of freestanding solar collectors.
The Aspen Times reports glare from solar panels and aesthetics of clusters of solar panels -- including height -- will be the major considerations in regulation.
"We can't have a laissez-faire (approach) just because it's good for the environment," said Commissioner George Newman.
The county gets 50 applications per year, mostly for roof-top solar, but planning officials expect a surge once the economy turns around. "I would hypothesize that when the economy turns around, every new house will have a solar (system) of some kind" said Lance Clarke, assistant community development director.
But another idea is for homeowners to leave their yards and roofs as is, but will invest in a solar farm, where panels can be tended much more efficiently. A company called the Clean Energy Collective proposes to build such farms down-valley from Aspen in the Basalt and Carbondale area.
Recession or no, plans go on for more building
EAGLE, Colo.—Real estate prices continue to slide, unemployment mounts, but developers have been looking forward to better times. Newspapers in the Aspen and Vail areas have been reporting proposals for new housing projects. Largest of them all would be a major project of 2,000 homes at Wolcott, located between Avon and Eagle.
The idea has been talked about since the 1990s, but the application has now been filed to build the houses, stores, restaurants -- even a school, church and fire station -- along I-70. The vision of developer Rick Hermes is for a community of 4,000 to 5,000 people on what now constitutes some of the last ranch land along the I-70 corridor in the Eagle Valley.