Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Gov. Bill Ritter today announced the 2008 winners of the second annual "Governor's Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards."  The awards honor the outstanding contributions made by individuals and organizations to protect Colorado's environment and provide clean power through renewable energy.
"Colorado's New Energy Economy brings good jobs, investment and clean energy to our state," Gov. Ritter said. "I am proud to recognize these leaders today with the Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards for helping to establish Colorado as a national and international leader in clean energy."
The second annual award winners are:  
·         Individual:  Dr. Chuck Kutscher has been a committed advocate for renewable energy technologies as an employee of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for over 30 years. He has worked in a variety of areas in renewable energy, including solar cooling technologies, solar industrial process heat, geothermal energy, and concentrating solar power.  He led the study, "Tackling Climate Change in the U.S." for the American Solar Energy Society and teaches "Climate Change Solutions" as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Chuck is currently a Principal Engineer at NREL and is the Group Manager for the Thermal Systems Group.   Contact: Chuck Kutscher, , 303.384.7521.
·         Small Business:  Coolerado Corp. develops, manufactures and sells innovative air conditioning systems that use one tenth of the energy required by the most efficient conventional systems and without the use of chemical refrigerants. The Department of Energy reported that wide adoption of Coolerado systems can eliminate or delay construction of new power plants, substantially reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Additionally, off-grid solar powered air conditioning with Coolerado is simple and affordable.   Contact: Coolerado, Rick Gillan,, 303.375.0878 x105,
·         Large Business: Ascent Solar is applying new thin film roll-to-roll processing and manufacturing techniques to harness the sun's power for viable clean-energy. The company produces solar modules on very lightweight thin-film plastic substrates that turn natural sunlight into electricity. More flexible and affordable than most traditional solar panels, the product can be integrated into electronics, portable power, transportation, commercial and residential buildings, and space and near-space applications. Contact:  Ascent Solar, Brian Blackman,, 832-515-0928,
·         Institutions: Red Rocks Community College serves 14,000 students annually with campuses in Lakewood and Arvada. The College's Renewable Energy Technology Program has grown from 10 students in fall 2007 to 94 students currently.  Students are gaining skills in high demand to include LEED green building, energy auditing, solar PV, and solar thermal. As of fall 2008, 20 percent of students were employed in the renewable energy field. Contact: Red Rocks Community College, Michele Haney,  303.914.6214,
·         Non-profits: Western Resource Advocates (WRA) works to protect the West's land, air, and water by advancing clean energy to reduce pollution and global climate change; promote urban water conservation and river restoration; and defend special public lands from energy development and unauthorized off-road vehicle travel. WRA collaborates with other conservation groups, hunters and fishermen, ranchers, American Indians, and others to ensure a sustainable future for the West. This past year WRA played a major role in getting the Public Utilities Commission to approve Xcel Energy's plan to swap coal for renewable energy. Contact: Western Resource Advocates, Peter Roessmann,, 303.444.1188 x221,
The winners each received an award created by Colorado artist Sandy Jackson. For more information about the awards, winners and artist visit the Governor's Energy Office,