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Energy from the sun can be harnessed using different types of technology, like photovoltaic (PV) panels that convert sunlight into electricity and solar thermal panels that use sunlight to heat water. Colorado has a tremendous solar resource, with the potential to produce hundreds of times as much electricity as the state consumes each year.

The solar energy sector in Colorado has created new opportunities in electricity generation, research and development and manufacturing. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association:

  • Colorado ranked 11th in the nation for installed solar capacity, with 925.8 MW of solar energy installed as of 2016.
  • Colorado is home to more than 400 solar companies, employing about 6,000 people throughout the state.
  • More than $510 million in Colorado solar investments were made in 2016.
  • Average installed photovoltaic system prices in Colorado have fallen by18% between 2014 and 2015.

Solar PV technology can be deployed at various scales, from utility-scale generation, in which a large amount of electricity is transmitted from a central location to numerous consumers, to distributed generation, in which small-scale systems generate electricity for local use.

Community solar gardens are a form of distributed generation that involves a solar array with multiple subscribers who may purchase a portion of the power produced and receive a credit on their electric bill. Solar gardens provide a clean energy option for renters and those who are unable to use their rooftops for solar. 

For more information on solar incentives in your area, contact your electricity provider.