Colorado Receives $2.2 Million For Energy Development Initiatives

Governor Bill Ritter has announced 23 New Energy Economic Development (NEED) grants to recipients across Colorado for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects that will help create and retain jobs, strengthen local economies, and save money and energy.

The grants, which total about $2.2 million and are funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will go to communities, school districts and nonprofits. Projects include solar power installation for an affordable housing unit in Denver, energy efficiency upgrades for a non-profit preschool in Gilpin County and a small hydro-electric project in the town of Basalt.

“These grants mean jobs, energy savings and lower utility bills for taxpayers across Colorado,” said Gov. Ritter. “Projects funded with these dollars further strengthen our New Energy Economy, diversify the economy in all corners of Colorado and reflect Colorado’s 21st century outlook for developing the jobs and infrastructure that position us as a national leader.”

The NEED grants were awarded after a competitive process involving more than 106 applicants seeking more than $18 million. The 23 grant projects will leverage more than $5 million in public-private local matching funds for a combined $7.8 million investment in Colorado communities.

The Governor’s Energy Office awarded four previous rounds of grants in 2008 and 2009, totaling nearly $3 million for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects throughout Colorado. This is the second round of NEED grants funded with Recovery Act dollars.

“The widespread interest in NEED grants is another indicator that Colorado’s businesses and communities are embracing a new energy future,” said Tom Plant, energy office director. “These projects help accelerate market penetration of proven clean-energy technologies, and continue to heighten Colorado’s profile for investors in the New Energy Economy.”

The 23 Colorado NEED award winners are:

The Visiting Nurses Association received $7,839 for energy efficient lighting upgrades for its facility in Denver.

Camping gear manufacturer Big Agnes in Steamboat Springs received $12,064 to help build a five-kilowatt solar array on its headquarters.

City and County of Broomfield received $12,500 to replace inefficient lighting stands along the periphery of the 230-acre Broomfield County Commons with solar LED lighting.

Colorado State University received $15,000 for installation of a 206-kilowatt thin-film Abound Solar array on campus, including an educational kiosk on the new technology.

Eagles Nest Early Learning Center, a non-profit preschool in Blackhawk, received $19,872 to install energy efficiency improvements.

Aurora Mental Health Center received $23,100 to replace three aging, high-maintenance heating boilers with two high-efficiency models.

Gunnison County Electric received $24,042 for a pilot project that will use wind energy to power the utility’s radio repeater sites, with excess energy fed into the electricity grid.

Costilla County Biodiesel received $28,050 to install a solar thermal system to preheat feedstock for biodiesel production.

Dolores County Health Association received $37,425 to install a Ground Source Heat Pump system on its health care facility.

Garfield County Public Library received $40,000 to install a measurement and verification system to track energy usage in a new LEED Gold-certified library. The tool will help reduce energy use and serve to educate the public on the energy savings achieved by the building.

Optimiser in Denver received $50,000 to further develop energy audit software that can be used by homeowners to calculate potential cost-benefits analysis of renewable energy installations.

The Delta-Montrose Electric Association received $60,000 to help fund a community solar array that will allow customers to access solar power remotely.

Fort Collins received $72,000 to implement the Carbon City sustainability information management system. The system will help Fort Collins track its carbon emissions and reductions.

Grand County Business Economic Development Association received $96,250 to replace old boiler systems with high efficiency boilers and solar domestic hot water systems at the Grand Living Senior Homes in Granby.

The Northeast Denver Housing Center received $107,500 to install 55 kilowatts of solar energy in a model project to integrate renewable power into affordable housing.

Town of Basalt received $119,025 to help fund a 40 kilowatt small hydro-electric generating facility.

Town Telluride received $150,000 to support the design and building of a 100-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system at its regional wastewater facility.

City of Aspen received $150,000 for a 42-kilowatt solar PV system at the city’s water treatment plant as part of an effort to power the facility completely with renewable energy.

Routt County received $175,000 for energy performance contract work that will install lighting, heating and cooling retrofits at the Routt County Detention Center, county courthouse and other buildings.

The Good Samaritan Society in Simla received $200,000 for a geo-exchange-based heating and cooling system and solar hot water heating system.

Town of Windsor received $221,271 for a new police facility incorporating energy efficiency, geothermal heating and cooling and solar energy.

Durango Discovery Museum received $248,000 for an array of new energy projects, including solar thermal hot water, a geo-exchange system, small wind and high efficiency lighting. The features will be part of an energy demonstration project.

Rio Blanco County received $259,957 to replace boilers, make lighting retrofits and other energy improvements at the Fairfield Senior Apartments.