The Scope | The Future of Solar is Bright

Mead Solar Field | Weld County, CO

Did you know there is enough solar power provided in one hour of sunlight to meet the Earth’s energy needs for an entire year? The sun is a formidable energy source and as Thomas Edison once noted, “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power!” Solar energy is clean, abundant, and renewable. One of the world’s largest natural resources, it does not emit any pollutants into the atmosphere whether it is being produced or consumed. These benefits are just a few of the reasons Lamp Rynearson has been providing civil design services for solar fields across the Colorado Region since 2015.

Cost effective, innovative, and creative source for renewable energy –solar energy is a diverse application that can be used to produce electricity in areas without access to an energy grid, distill water in regions with limited clean water supplies, and even power satellites in space. Solar continues to grow and advance as innovations in nanotechnology increase its effectiveness, doubling (or even tripling) the electrical capabilities of solar power systems. In the past 5 years, efficiencies have increased by 25 percent! Developers of solar energy, are now able to take an old glass panel and turn it back into a new solar panel. This recycle, reuse system will only increase its economic efficiency. With the imminent potential of generating 415-425 watts per panel – the future of solar is bright!

From large, utility-scale projects to multiple, small-scale solar sites, Lamp Rynearson professionals assist clients with the process of bringing this type of energy to municipalities of all sizes. What started as a client referral has turned into multiple large utility-scale solar energy projects for Lamp Rynearson, ranging from 500 KW to 300 MW. In 2015, we began our partnership with Silicon Ranch assisting them with entitlements, survey, and pre-application meeting attendance. While contracted with Silicon Ranch, we joined their partnership with McCarthy to fulfill engineering procurement construction (EPC). Construction plans were needed to meet the EPC contract requirements – so the Lamp Rynearson team furthered our partnership with McCarthy that continues to this day.  

Several years ago, when OakLeaf Energy Partners (OakLeaf) needed assistance on a drainage report, we began teaming with their firm. Their portfolio consisted of 12 small scale solar sites. This additional energy generated by solar, meets the overall needs of residents across small Colorado municipalities.

Solar is a multifaceted power source, that can help small communities lower their energy costs for water and wastewater services. On-site solar systems can be deployed at any public facility water and wastewater treatment plants to further enhance the communities they serve.  Solar projects speak to our purpose to “leave a legacy of enduring improvements within our communities”. 

In 2019, the state of Colorado passed 11 major clean energy bills and is a leader in renewable energy. According to the Colorado Energy Office, by 2030 the state plans to cut emissions of climate warming pollutants by 50% – with their goal being 90% by 2050. The intended result? Opening additional avenues of carbon reduction. As solar becomes more economical, it will continue to grow as a viable power source for not only Colorado, but other regions across America.

The next time you feel the sun beaming across your face, as it’s warm light envelopes the landscape around you – remember the magnificent power the sun holds. That same light and warmth could potentially generate electricity for your home or your community. Solar energy has made exponential advances in technology and will continue to do so. Do you have a solar project idea you’ve been kicking around? As Colorado’s preeminent civil engineering solar partner– we’d love to talk to you! 

To learn more about Silicon Ranch visit their website at: https://www.siliconranch.com/

To learn more about McCarthy’s solar division visit their website at: https://www.mccarthy.com/projects/renewable-energy

To learn more about OakLeaf visit their website at: http://oakleafep.com/