Community Response to Concentrating Solar Power in the San Luis Valley: October 9, 2008 - March 31, 2010

Mark Mehos, Mark Mehos (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


This report is about the social acceptance of utility-scale concentrating solar power (CSP) plants in the San Luis Valley, approximately 200 miles southwest of Denver, Colorado. The research focused on social factors that may facilitate and impede the adoption and implementation of CSP. During the winter of 2008-2009, interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 25 CSP-relatedstakeholders inside and outside the Valley. Interviews focused on the perceived advantages and disadvantages of siting a hypothetical 100-MW CSP facility in the Valley, the level of community support and opposition to CSP development, and related issues, such as transmission. State policy recommendations based on the findings include developing education programs for Valley residents,integrating Valley decision makers into an energy-water-land group, providing training for Valley decision makers, offering workforce training, evaluating models of taxation, and forming landholder energy associations. In addition, the SLV could become a laboratory for new approaches to CSP facility and transmission siting decision-making. The author recommends that outside stakeholders addresscommunity concerns and engage Valley residents in CSP decisions. Engaging the residents in CSP and transmission decisions, the author says, should take parallel significance with the investment in solar technology.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages121
StatePublished - 2010

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-550-48041


  • adoption of csp
  • advantages and disadvantages of siting
  • community support
  • concentrating solar power (CSP)
  • CSP
  • CSP-related stakeholders
  • San Luis Valley
  • social factors
  • utility-scale concentrating solar power


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