Tuesday, October 14, 2008



Gov. Bill Ritter today announced the first recipients of the "New Energy Communities Initiative" – 14 projects that will stimulate economic growth, create new jobs, enhance sustainability and lead to more livable communities all across Colorado.
"The New Energy Communities Initiative will be a valuable resource for communities that are working together to build Colorado's New Energy Economy," Gov. Ritter said during a keynote address at the second annual New Energy Economy Conference at the ColoradoConvention Center. "These 14 projects will enhance livability, strengthen the economy and reward regional collaboration throughoutColorado."
The 14 grant recipients, representing regional and collaborative efforts, were selected from 32 applications. About 1.8 million people live in the areas that will benefit from these projects. The projects are:
·         Avon Heat Recovery Facility: $1.5 million
·         Boulder County Biomass Heating Initiative: $500,000
·         Cortez Micro-Hydroelectric Plant: $500,000
·         Fort Collins Regional New Energy Communities Initiative: $778,000
·         Garfield County New Energy Communities Initiative: $1.6 million
·         Grand Junction New Energy Communities Initiative: $1 million
·         Greeley Intergovernmental New Energy Communities Initiative: $700,000
·         La Plata County Regional New Energy Communities Initiative: $1.2 million
·         Longmont New Energy Communities Initiative: $500,000
·         Loveland Multi-Agency New Energy Communities Initiative: $39,250
·         Pikes Peak Region New Energy Communities Initiative: $200,000
·         Pueblo Sustainable New Energy Communities Initiative: $1 million
·         Routt County New Energy Communities Initiative: $87,000
·         Yuma County New Energy Communities Initiative: $400,000

"The New Energy Communities Initiative provides an energy and economic stimulus that rewards communities throughout Colorado for innovative ideas that will save energy, save money and create jobs," said Tom Plant, director of the Governor's Energy Office.
Gov. Ritter announced the establishment of the New Energy Communities Initiative at the Colorado Municipal League's annual conference in Steamboat Springs in June. The initiative is a joint effort of Colorado Department of Local Affairs and the Governor's Energy Office. It is designed to maximize energy efficiency and conservation, enhance community livability, promote economic development, and address climate change by reducing carbon emissions.  

The program directs $10 million in Energy Impact Assistance Funds to regional efforts, with a maximum of $2 million per region.
"These grants will help local communities upgrade, retrofit or develop energy efficient public facilities, enhance streetscape improvements and downtown revitalization, and assist local
governments' efforts to educate homeowners on energy efficient upgrades and retrofits to meet higher energy efficiency standards," said Susan Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Department of Local Affairs.
For more information, go to 

The Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance program assists communities in offsetting the direct impacts of energy and mineral development and in meeting other needs indirectly related to such development. The funds are administered by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and come from the state severance tax on oil, gas, carbon dioxide, coal and metals and from the state's share of royalties paid to the federal government for the extraction of minerals and mineral fuels on federally owned land.
Additional details about the 2008 New Energy Communities projects:
1) Garfield County New Energy Communities Initiative - $1,605,000
Partners: Garfield County, Town of Parachute, City of Rifle, Town of Silt, Town of New Castle, City of Glenwood Springs, Town ofCarbondale, Garfield County Public Library District, Roaring Fort School District, Roaring Fork Transportation Authority
This collaborative effort includes a comprehensive program to increase energy efficiency in public, commercial, and residential buildings, increase renewable energy, enhance overall community livability, incorporate energy improvements into downtowns and advance a clean energy economy countywide.  Specific project elements include: greening of public facilities, renewable energy demonstration projects, LED street lighting, small commercial audit and retrofits, residential solar electric and solar hot water, a multi-jurisdictional sustainability team, Energy Star new construction and financing for clean energy upgrades and installations in Garfield County.
2) Avon New Energy Communities Initiative Heat Recovery Facility - $1,500,000
Partners: Town of Avon, Eagle River and Sanitation District
This project offers cutting-edge improvements to sludge digestion technology, pool water heating and conventional snow melting.  It consists of the design and construction of a neighborhood waste heat recovery system that will capture solar heat and extract heat from the wastewater treatment plant processes to enhance livability in the community, support economic revitalization efforts, and serve a growing population in an environmentally, sustainable way.  Further, it will reduce the temperature of wastewater effluent currently discharged into the Eagle Riverduring fish-sensitive periods.
3) La Plata County Regional New Energy Communities Initiative - $1,200,000
Partners: La Plata County, City of Durango, Towns of Bayfield and Ignacio
The projects of this regional partnership include public building energy audits, public renewable energy demo projects, LED projects, marketing a small commercial audit and retrofit program, marketing for an Energy Star program for new homes, support for a recycling program, planning and design of an energy efficient municipal complex, and funding for a sustainability coordinator.  The project also includes the redevelopment of a brownfield site and construction of a LEED-certified Energy and Science Museum in Durango.
4) Grand Junction New Energy Communities Initiative - $1,050,000
Partners: City of Grand Junction, Mesa County, City of Fruita, Town of Palisade and Grand Junction Hosing Authority
This project consists of providing energy efficiency measures and developing renewable sources of energy for public facilities, create highly visible renewable energy demonstration projects, conducting outreach to the community with programs and resources, and plans for the revitalization of a three block area in Grand Junction's downtown utilizing smart growth concepts of compact, urban development.  The project will maximize energy efficiency and conservation through performance contracting for all of the government partners.
5) Pueblo Sustainable New Energy Communities Initiative - $1,000,000
Partners: City and County of Pueblo, Combined Court – 10th Judicial District, Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority and the Pueblo Downtown Merchants Association
Projects include use of performance contracting, installation of energy efficient equipment in the proposed regional Development Center and County Judicial Complex in downtown Pueblo, development of a public education demonstration component, replacement of 288 pedestrian signal heads with LED devices, and adoption of sustainability updates to the Pueblo Municipal Code and the Downtown Framework Plan.  A sustainability team, incorporating city and county employees, will carry out the proposed projects. 
6) Fort Collins Regional New Energy Communities Initiative - $778,000
Partners: City of Fort Collins, Fort Collins Regional Library District, Fort Collins Housing Authority
This effort is directed at strategically funding several energy efficiency and renewable energy projects throughout the region focusing on public buildings and facilities.  Projects include light emitting diodes (LED) street lights in downtown, retro-commissioning, installing solar photovoltaics on both public buildings and affordable housing developments, installing a solar thermal system for a community pool and the hiring of a sustainability coordinator.  The projects will not only increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy technologies, but also provide a significant education component showcasing projects to the general public.
7) Greeley Intergovernmental New Energy Communities Initiative - $700,000
Partners: City of Greeley, Weld County, Town of Windsor, University of Northern Colorado, Aims Community College, Greeley/Evans School District No. 6, Greeley Downtown Development Authority
Energy efficiency and renewable energy projects will be installed in several public facilities (including elementary and middle schools, the county courthouse, Windsor town hall and the Greeley Civic Center).  A portion of the energy savings will be diverted to a new Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) managed by a cooperative, which will provide a funding source for future projects.  The partner communities will also cooperate on numerous recycling and community education initiatives.
8) Boulder County Biomass Heating Initiative - $500,000
Partners: Boulder County, City of Boulder, Lafayette, Louisville, Lyons, Nederland, Superior and University of Colorado
This project will support the construction of a biomass facility that will burn trees lost to the Mountain Pine Beetle to provide heat for county road and bridge shops.  The project funding will also support a solar pool facility in Louisville and a wind turbine project in Lafayette.  The project also features energy audits and improvements for downtown business, energy efficiency improvements for public facilities and lighting improvements.  This project will help implement the region's sustainable energy plan, adopted earlier this year.
9) Cortez Micro-Hydroelectric Plant - $500,000
Partners: City of Cortez, Empire Electric Association, Montezuma County
This project involves the construction of a micro-hydroelectric power generation unit located on a canal in the City of Cortez.  Energy savings will be reinvested in the community in the form of assistance for greening low-income housing, public facilities and downtown area improvements.  It addresses several needs identified in the Cortez Comprehensive Plan and will foster development of a unique local Green Initiative ("Conserve Cortez") created to reduce costly energy practices, initiate new energy saving methods and advance energy efficiency in the region.
10) Longmont New Energy Communities Initiative - $500,000
Partners: City of Longmont, St. Vrain Valley School District, Longmont Downtown Development Authority, Longmont Power and Communications and Platte River Power Authority
This collaborative effort includes energy efficiency improvements at city and school district facilities, renewable energy equipment at city pools and at school district facilities, high efficiency and LED lighting, a small commercial audit program for downtown business, and a municipal energy management coordinator.  The project also includes a renewable energy demonstration project at the Longmont CivicCenter.
11) Yuma County New Energy Communities Initiative - $400,000
Partners: Yuma County, City of Wray
Yuma County and the City of Wray will focus on energy efficient equipment for public facilities (including solar thermal equipment installation at the community pool), several renewable energy demonstration projects, LED lights in downtown, education programs and development of model codes and Energy Star standards in the building code.
12) Pikes Peak Region New Energy Communities Initiative - $200,000
Partners: City of Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Utility, El Paso County
Project will include the hiring of a sustainability coordinator to oversee a CFL/LED instant rebate program for city residents, implement a residential insulation program, develop incentives for the Energy Star Homes program, assist the city and county with implementation of the new sustainability policies and help identify and recruit environmentally sustainable businesses to the region.  
13) Routt County New Energy Communities Initiative - $87,000
Partners: City of Steamboat Springs, Routt County, Town of Yampa, Mount Werner Water, East Routt Library District
Project partners will utilize an energy audit/performance contracting model to address environmental sustainability.  Energy efficiency upgrades will be implemented in public facilities, including a solar electric system at the regional airport and a renewable energy demonstration project at the city library.
14) Loveland Multi-Agency New Energy Communities Initiative - $39,250
Partners: City of Loveland, Housing Authority of the City of Loveland, Thompson R2-J School District, Platte River Power Authority,Loveland Housing Development Corporation

Project partners will develop and implement a regional glass collection and transfer recycling project and initiate LEED training and certification for city, school district and affordable housing development staff.