Colorado is a Renewable Energy Leader

By
Real Estate Agent with da Vinci Realty

Everyone knows that the words "renewable energy" are buzzwords which we hear every day and it is a topic which is becoming increasingly important. I just came across the following information on www.colorado.gov and I think it's important that Colorado is taking a leading role in renewable energy. There's no question in my mind that over the long run this will have a positive effect on the quality of life in Colorado and in turn will have a positive effect on real estate value. 

 

Wind: Colorado Ranks 11th in wind energy resources

 

  • In less than two years, Colorado has quadrupled the amount of wind-generated electricity. Three new wind farms opened in 2007 alone, generating nearly 750 megawatts of electricity, enough energy to power 250,000 homes.
  • Denmark-based Vestas Blades opened its first North American manufacturing plant in Windsor in March 2008 and plans to open three additional production facilities in Colorado (two in Brighton and one in Pueblo). Vestas' total commitment to Colorado represents a $700 million capital investment and 2,500 new jobs.
  • Renewable Energy Systems America Inc. relocated from Texas to Colorado in March 2008. The company designs, builds and operates wind farms.
  • Texas-based Dragon Wind will open a plant in Lamar to build wind towers.
  • Siemens Energy, the second largest global wind turbine developer, announced Colorado will house its North American Research and Development Center.
  • Woodward Governor announced in March 2008 it will add up to 100 employees in Northern Colorado. The company manufactures wind turbine inverters.
  • Connecticut-based Hexcel Corp, a producer of carbon fiber and other advanced composite materials and a Vestas supplier, is building a new facility in Windsor.

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Solar: Colorado ranks 6th in solar resources

 

  • Abengoa Solar has located its headquarters in Lakewood.
  • Ascent Solar plans to build 1.5MW and 25MW production facilities in Lakewood.
  • AVA Solar plans to build a solar manufacturing plant in Longmont.
  • PrimeStar Solar of Golden received more than $3 million in public-private funding to develop thin-film solar technologies.
  • SunEdison's new photovoltaic facility generates power for 1,500 homes in the San Luis Valley and in 2008 was the nation's most productive photovoltaic solar plant. SunEdison opened an operations center in Westminster in 2008, bringing new jobs to the metro area.
  • Fort Carson opened the largest solar plant on a U.S. military base, and the Denver Federal Center, DIA, and Belmar shopping district all opened solar facilities.
  • Arvada's SkyFuel Inc. unveiled its new SkyTrough, a high-performing, parabolic, concentrating solar array.
  • Solar Technology Acceleration Center (SolarTAC) announced it will build the nation's largest public-private partnership for solar-energy development in Aurora.
  • The Governor's Energy Office is offering rebates for residential and commercial solar electric, solar domestic hot water and other systems.

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Biofuels

 

  • ConocoPhillips will open a global research center for alternative fuels in Louisville.
  • Colorado is now home to five ethanol plants and more than 100 E85 or biodiesel fueling stations. More than 8 million gallons were sold in 2008.
  • Solix Biofuels, a Colorado State University spinoff company, will open the world's first commercial pilot facility outside of Durango to develop biofuel from algae.
  • The Ritter administration helped the South Routt School District convert a coal-fired furnace to a clean-burning biomass generator, utilizing biomass pellets derived from beetle-kill trees in Kremmling.

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Renewable Energy Potential

 

  • The state conducted a comprehensive mapping of renewable energy resources in Colorado, identifying 122 gigawatts of potential wind and solar energy.

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Economic Development Missions

 

  • Gov. Ritter has led New Energy Economy business-development missions to Spain, China and Japan.

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Research & Development

 

  • Gov. Ritter has strengthened the state's relationship with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and created a Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory that partners NREL with the University of Colorado, Colorado State University and Colorado School of Mines.
  • CSU has created Cenergy, a new Clean Energy Supercluster to transfer biofuel, solar and wind R&D technology projects to the commercial marketplace.
  • CSU has established a School of Global Environmental Sustainability to help prepare a new generation of green-collar workers.

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Utilities

 

  • Xcel Energy is building the nation's first Smart Grid City in Boulder.
  • Fort Collins is developing 'FortZED' (Zero Energy District)

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Colorado Climate Action Plan

 

  • Gov. Ritter issued Colorado's first Climate Action Plan, which calls for greenhouse gas reductions of 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.

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Greening of State Government

 

  • Gov. Ritter set goals that are being implemented to reduce energy, paper, petroleum, water and waste by 2012.
  • Gov. Ritter directed the installation of 10-kilowatt solar systems at the Governor's Residence and the State Capitol.
  • A geothermal ground source heat pump was installed for heating and cooling at the Governor's Residence.
  • Colorado's State Capitol is the first to receive LEED certification. The Governor's Residence is also LEED certified.

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Community Partnerships

 

  • Residential: More than 43 communities participate in Insulate Colorado and ENERGY STAR New Homes programs. Energy assistance was provided to 40,000 low-income families through efficiency upgrades to lower consumers' energy bills.
  • Commercial & Public Buildings: The state leveraged $195,000 into $165 million in energy efficiency investments through energy performance contracting. Twenty-five percent of the investments by energy service companies goes directly into job creation through labor expenses.
  • New Energy Communities: Gov. Ritter launched a $10 million New Energy Communities Initiative to maximize energy efficiency and conservation, enhance community livability, promote economic development, and address climate change. The state also has provided:
    • $656,000 in grants for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
    • $350,000 in Solar Innovation Grants and $150,000 for small wind projects.
    • $2.5 million to a solar rebate program.
    • Grants to mountain communities to handle pine-beetle forest waste.
  • Green Collar Job Training: The Governor's Energy Office developed a green-collar training and certification curriculum to recruit energy auditors. More than 60 auditors have been trained and are on their way to being certified.

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Carbon

 

  • The state launched the Colorado Carbon Fund in 2008 to provide high quality carbon offsets to consumers to support new energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

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Honors

 

  • Gov. Ritter was the only elected official to take part in a climate-change expedition to the Norwegian Arctic in August 2008 organized by the Aspen Institute, National Geographic Society and Lindblad Expeditions.
  • Gov. Ritter received the "2008 Leadership in Energy Efficiency Award" from the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project.
  • Gov. Ritter has testified about the New Energy Economy before Congress, to national conferences and has advocated on its behalf to the Obama administration.

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