Friday, December 11, 2009

Gov. Ritter Announces $1.5M in New Energy Economic Grants

Gov. Bill Ritter announced today the award of 14 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 $1.5 million and are funded by the Recovery Act, will go to small businesses, school districts, nonprofits and municipalities. Projects include converting a gas boiler system to a woody biomass heating system at Western State College, using solar power to offset irrigation costs for an Alamosa farm, and retrofitting an HVAC system with efficiencies at Buena Vista schools.

“These grants reflect the way Coloradans in every corner of Colorado are helping to advance the New Energy Economy,” Gov. Ritter said. “They reflect the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that is making Colorado a national leader in building a clean-energy future and a leader in the nation’s economic recovery. These projects will help create jobs, reduce energy usage and save money.”

The NEED grants were awarded after a competitive process involving more than 200 applicants seeking nearly $45 million. The 14 grant projects will leverage more than $3.3 million in public-private local matching funds for a combined $5.8 million investment in Colorado communities.

The Governor’s Energy Office has awarded three previous NEED grant rounds in 2008 and 2009, totaling nearly $1.4 million for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects throughout Colorado. This is the first round of NEED grants funded with Recovery Act dollars. The Energy Office anticipates two more rounds of NEED grants before September 2010, with the next round likely to offer $2 million in grant funding early next year.

“The significant interest in NEED grants show how powerfully our communities and business operators are engaged in building a new energy future,” said Energy Office Director Tom Plant. “Projects that target investment in emerging technologies, increase the market penetration of well-established technologies and attract New Energy Economy investments to Colorado were selected."

The 14 Colorado NEED award winners are:

-Town of Telluride: The Town of Telluride received $50,000 to install a photovoltaic array at the Telluride Wastewater Treatment Plant at Society Turn. Contact: Karen Guglielmone, Town of Telluride,, 970.728.0190,

-Western State College: Located in Gunnison County, received $284,000 to convert the existing conventional gas boiler system to a woody biomass system at Taylor Hall. Contact: Tracey Koehler, Western State College,, 970.943.3038,

-Astralux Power Systems: This Boulder-based company received $59,940 to install a photovoltaic system to offset irrigation costs at the Crouse Farm located in Alamosa, CO. Contact: Jesse Malcomb, Astralux Power Systems,, 303.413.1440,

-Mesa County Valley School District: Located on the Western Slope, this organization received $103,152 in matching funds to install Solatube technology at Dos Rios and Pear Park Elementary School(s). Contact: Jeff Kirtland, Mesa County Valley School District,, 970.254.5112,

-City of Ouray: The City of Ouray received $30,000 to install a micro-hydro generating unit located at the Ouray Hot Springs Pool. Contact: Patrick Rondinelli, City of Ouray,, 970.325.7060,

-Energistic Systems: Based in Golden, this company received $100,000 for continued manufacturing of the SunTrac Concentrating Collector system a new and innovative solar-thermal system. Contact William Lowstuter, Energistic Systems,, 303.807.3497,

-Aurora Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center: Aurora Mental Health Center received $29,739 for of a multi-phase energy conservation retrofit project. Contact: Cindy Bohl, Aurora Mental Health,, 303.617-2313,

-B&H Industries: Located in Denver, this company received $145,000 to install a photovoltaic system adjacent to a livestock feeding operation in Rocky Ford, CO. Contact: Joe Burdick, B&H Industries,, 303.274.4358,

-Buena Vista School District: Buena Vista School District received $130,000 for an HVAC system retrofit at the Dorthea Willie P.E. complex. Contact: Shelly Mueller,, 719.395.7000,

-Calhan School District: Located in El Paso County, Calhan School District received $305,000 to replace the existing HVAC system with a ground source heat pump system at the Calhan School. Contact: Linda Miller, Calhan School District, , 719.347.2541,

-Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP): Based in Denver, this organization received $65,800 to develop a green building code for the City and County of Denver. Contact: Gene Dilworth, SWEEP,, 303.447.0078 ext. 3.,

-Denver Regional Council of Governments: Located in Denver, the Denver Regional Council of Governments received $189,120 to develop a web-based information portal that will allow building owners to estimate the costs and benefits of installing photovoltaic systems on their buildings. Contact: Marty Burgess, DRCOG,, 303.480.6706,

-Penikin, Inc.: Based in Grand Junction, this organization received $30,000 to launch the Colorado Geothermal Heat Exchange Association (CGHEA), a non-profit advocacy group that will promote the installation and education of geothermal heat exchange systems (GHE). Contact: Ben Northcutt, Penikin, Inc.,, 970.846.0303.

-Merewether Farms: Located in Karval, CO, Merewether Farms received $11,529 to install a single Hummer Wind Turbine which will help to offset utility based energy costs of the farm. Contact: Dan Merewether, Merewether Farms,, 719.446.5403.

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