Solar deal ‘waste of ratepayer money’
       The Colorado Springs City Council/Utility Board has worked out a deal with local solar companies to build 10 megawatts of solar gardens that will cost utilities ratepayers $23 million over the next 20 years. The deal is a waste of ratepayer money because CSU will pay subscribers 16 cents per kilowatt hour when CSU can generate it for 2-3 cents per kilowatt hour and can buy it on the open market for about 3.5 cents. Worse yet is the fact that CSU doesn't need additional electricity for customers because it has excess generating capacity, and meets the Colorado mandate for renewables.
       Last year Councilmem-bers Lisa Czelatdko, Scott Hente, Bernie Herpin, Jan Martin, Val Snider and Brandy Williams voted to stop the elimination of the Front Range Express (FREX) bus service even though Mayor Bach's transportation task force proved that the city could not afford to subsidize the program's cost of nearly $1 million per year - and it was only the action of the mayor himself that ended the boondoggle. These same councilmembers (along with Merv Bennett, who opposed FREX) now have voted to lock in more than $1 million per year of waste by making the solar subsidies a 20-year contractual commitment.

Dick Standaert