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PNS Daily Newscast - October 29, 2020 

Trump supporters left to battle frigid temperatures in Omaha; absentee ballots surge in Tennessee.

2020Talks - October 29, 2020 

The Supreme Court blocks North Carolina and Pennsylvania Republicans from requiring ballots to be delivered by Election Day. And a Texas court is requiring masks at polling places.

Harnessing the Power of the Sun in Colorado

October 25, 2011

DENVER - Colorado tourism boards brag about the state's 300-plus days of sunshine every year, and a new report finds the state is doing a good job transforming it into renewable energy. The "Smart Solar" report from The Wilderness Society calls Colorado a national leader for requiring that 30 percent of the state's energy come from renewable resources. It also says the zones identified by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as sites for new solar projects are well positioned to take advantage of the sunshine.

Olive Valdez and her husband are fifth-generation ranchers who live about a mile from one of the proposed sites in Conejos County, and think the location is a good choice.

"My husband said the land where they proposed the solar zone, on a dry year, a jackrabbit would have to pack a lunch in order to be able to get across it!"

The report cautions that the BLM needs to focus on opening up what it calls "low-conflict" zones, such as the Conejos County site, and avoid areas with key wildlife habitat, such as the Rio Grande corridor and the Hot Creek State Wilderness Area.

Alex Daue, renewable energy associate at The Wilderness Society, says the proposed zones take advantage of both natural and man-made resources.

"The fact that these areas are generally flat, have great solar resources, and are close to existing roads and power lines will decrease construction costs."

Valdez, a former state Wildlife Commissioner, thinks solar development, and solar jobs, could help jump-start the sputtering economy in places like Canejos County.

"The biggest export we have around here is our children, because there's literally nothing to keep them here."

She says benefits to increasing solar energy production include up to 250 construction jobs and also ongoing infrastructure and maintenance work once the site is up and running.

Kathleen Ryan, Public News Service - CO