Solar in the Sweetheart City: Loveland, Colorado
Located 53 miles west of Denver on the Colorado Front Range, Loveland, Colorado, is considered a bedroom community for the Denver Metropolitan area, among other nearby cities. Loveland is an artist haven, with sculpture the most popular art form; a Sculpture in the Park show is held each August and features local and international artists. About 71,000 people live in Loveland, which is a sister city to the larger Fort Collins—the two cities have expanded steadily toward one another.
Solar power is already on the radar as a residential power source in Loveland. In 2013, a flood in the Front Range damaged the Idylewilde Dam so extensively that it was deemed worthless, causing the city to rethink its power options. With $9 million provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Alternate Project and city funds, the city built the Foothills Solar and Substation project, which includes 10,000 solar panels that exceed the power generation provided by the Idylewilde Dam three times over. The city is also finding the maintenance required for the solar panels is far less than the maintenance the old dam required.
Several Solar Lighting Opportunities in Loveland
Projects like the Foothills Solar and Substation are a first step toward implementation of solar power in other city applications. Currently, Loveland’s Water and Power Department manages street lighting, including installation and maintenance. The city can take its self-reliance one step further and put solar street lighting to work here. By choosing a reliable solar street lighting company, the city would be investing in a sustainable future with infrastructure that lasts. These benefits can extend to park and trail lighting, too, ensuring all citizens get a chance to enjoy outdoor spaces with an increased sense of safety and community connection.
In fact, Loveland already embraces community connections: is known as the Sweetheart City because of the Valentine Re-Mailing Program, which has been operating since 1947. About 160,000 cards pass through Loveland each year, from all 50 states and more than 120 countries around the world. The program requires a volunteer squad and the participation of residents for the annual card design and verse that goes with it.
With such community spirit in place here, it’s no wonder Fort Collins-Loveland is consistently ranked highly as a great place to live by publications including USA Today, Money Magazine, and more. Continuing the trend toward solar outdoor lighting can help bring the community together in Loveland’s shared public spaces at any time of day.
Watch our video on commercial solar lighting in Colorado