ArcNews Online

Spring 2010
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Helping Big Business Make the Right Fit

Using GIS to map mean sunshine and resultant solar productivity potential helped Pueblo County win a solar energy production facility bid.

Though the emphasis in Pueblo County is on growing local business, the GIS Department also uses GIS to support efforts to bring in larger companies that the county feels will add to the quality of life for residents. The county recently used GIS to bid for a contract with Xcel Energy of Minneapolis, Minnesota, to bring a solar energy production facility to the area.

The facility's stakeholders initially believed another area in the state had the best location for solar radiation, but Pueblo County's GIS team showed that although the sun is not as intense as in the other location, Pueblo receives more sunlight per year, on average. Xcel Energy agreed, and the planned facility is projected to bring up to $900 million of taxable infrastructure into the county's property tax base and power more than 60,000 homes.

"You can look at databases all you want, but the maps were the things that got the attention of the governor, congresspeople, the energy companies, and many more people," says Christopher Markuson, GIS manager, Pueblo County.

More Information

For more information, contact Christopher Markuson (e-mail:

See also "Pueblo County, Colorado, Grows Economy with GIS."

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