It is once again the holiday season and Fort Collins officials have put up the downtown lights. This year is a little different than years past.
“We’re more conscious than ever of needed sustainability issues especially electric ones. Coal is used in electricity production so we took that into consideration when looking at how we can keep this lighting tradition going and still reduce our carbon footprint,” said Business of Old Town Federation Board president Mohammad Gordon.
The answer appeared during the summer when officials were busy reading through proposals for various solar-panel projects. “We realized that although solar-panels can’t be used during the evening what about lunar-panels? The lights are on during the night really and so if we can replace their electricity source from electric to lunar power, we could be saving money and doing our bit for the environment!”
It soon became obvious that this was an easy concept to write down on paper but much harder in its implementation. For one, the panels had to be invented.
Enter BillyJoe Boom. “Now, if ya see here, the moon don’ cast as much light as the sun,” commented the panels’ inventor, a resident of Severance. “So that mean you don’t get as much in terms of power.” Mr. Boom describes himself as an innovative entrepreneur. “I mean how many other people coulda thought to do lunar power? Genius!”
Mr. Boom markets his invention for smaller companies and seasonal projects. “’Cause you don’ have that much power so big projects ain’t gonna really work with these things. But seasonal or small ones, don’ that just fit!”
“In the long run we’re going to be saving money,” replied Commissioner Gordon, when asked about cost. “Yes, they were a little expensive up front but now we don’t have an electric bill for these lights either. So win-win for all; it was the best $1.5 million dollar investment of other people’s money we’ve ever done.”
The panels are located on top of a building on a main stretch of downtown College. Officials are not forthcoming as to where they are exactly due to fears of vandalism or outright theft. Mr. Boom is remaining on staff for this season just in case kinks or other issues arise. “This is the first commercial outfit for me, so’s I best help to make sure ever’thing goes smooth-like. After this, I’m gonna peddle them in Boulder too; them folks are just as rich and just as self-conscious of being seen as environmental friendly-like.”
So as you enjoy the holiday lights this season, remember that Fort Collins is at the vanguard of sustainability efforts by harnessing the power of the moon.