The tool belongs to National Land Realty (NLR), which has provided a custom regional portal for Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties. It is hosted on NLR’s server, and users must register to obtain access (see box at right/below).
Under terms of the agreement with NLR, Network partner CLEER may use the tool’s data to estimate regional solar potential, advocate for regional solar policies, and engage and educate landowners on the opportunity to lease their land.
The map displays all private parcels in Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties suitable for utility-interconnected solar development based on four main criteria:
- Proximity to electric service infrastructure: The viable distance from a solar development to the point of grid interconnection is somewhat dependent on the size of the project and specific project economics. For the purposes of this study, sites within 500 ft. of a 3-phase distribution line were selected for inclusion.
- Site acreage: To maintain some economies of scale, the first round of site search focused on parcels with 10+ usable acres. To be inclusive of the potential for smaller projects, a second-round search included smaller sites of 5-10 usable acres.
- Physical limitations: Sites were then assessed for physical characteristics that may preclude development, such as slopes greater than 10% or wetlands and large bodies of water.
- Land ownership: Parcels under federal or state government ownership, such as state wildlife areas, national forest and BLM lands, were excluded.