Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ritter Announces Energy Grants

Gov. Bill Ritter today announced the first recipients of the “New Energy Communities Initiative,” deciding to fund 14 projects around the state that his administration thinks 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,” Ritter said during a keynote address at the second annual New Energy Economy Conference at the Colorado Convention Center. “These 14 projects will enhance livability, strengthen the economy and reward regional collaboration throughout Colorado.”

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:

1. Avon Heat Recovery Facility: $1.5 million

2. Boulder County Biomass Heating Initiative: $500,000

3. Cortez Micro-Hydroelectric Plant: $500,000

4. Fort Collins Regional New Energy Communities Initiative: $778,000

5. Garfield County New Energy Communities Initiative: $1.6 million

6. Grand Junction New Energy Communities Initiative: $1 million

7. Greeley Intergovernmental New Energy Communities Initiative: $700,000

8. La Plata County Regional New Energy Communities Initiative: $1.2 million

9. Longmont New Energy Communities Initiative: $500,000

10. Loveland Multi-Agency New Energy Communities Initiative: $39,250

11. Pikes Peak Region New Energy Communities Initiative: $200,000

12. Pueblo Sustainable New Energy Communities Initiative: $1 million

13. Routt County New Energy Communities Initiative: $87,000

14. 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,” Governor's Energy Office director Tom Plant said.

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 street-scape improvements and downtown revitalization, and assist local governments’ efforts to educate homeowners on energy efficient upgrades and retrofits to meet higher energy efficiency standards,” Susan Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Department of Local Affairs, said.

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.