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STOP Hesperus Solar’s claims disputed

Recently, Primergy has offered to build a 155 MWac solar array project on unused land to the south of the community of Hesperus. A Stop Hesperus Solar group of local residents has initiated a web page in an effort to block this new and less expensive source of providing local generation of electricity. Stop Hesperus Solar has made four claims that should be disputed. They include:

1) Prolific, irreversible loss to vital wildlife habitats and one of the largest migration corridors in Colorado.

2) Zero energy benefits for La Plata County.

3) Zero change to energy bills.

4) Zero local job creation guaranteed.

In reality, the otherwise unused land is mostly covered by sagebrush. A lack of water means that it can never be used as farmland.

The plan for the low cost electricity that would be produced by the solar project is to feed it into the Hesperus electrical substation, which in turn feeds electricity eastward into Durango, Bayfield and Pagosa Springs. This destination area would be the optimal financial market for this low cost electricity. The project would pay millions of dollars in taxes to La Plata County.

Healthy market competition is fundamental to a well-functioning U.S. economy. Basic economic theory demonstrates that when firms have to compete for customers, this leads to lower prices, higher quality goods and services, greater variety and more innovation. This information is from “The Importance of Competition for the American Economy,” provided by the Council of Economic Advisers.

Bill Butler