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The Good News
2016 February/March
Pg 4 - The Sunshine Express
Colorado Energy Office & GRID Alternatives
Announce Five Rural Low-Income
Community Solar Demonstration Projects
DENVER, Jan. 27, 2016: The Colorado Energy
Office and GRID Alternatives announce five com-
munity solar projects designed to demonstrate
the viability of community solar models that serve
low-income households.
Delta Montrose Electric Association, Gunni-
son County Electric Association, Holy Cross
Energy, San Miguel Power Association and
Yampa Valley Electric Association have volun-
teered to build low-income projects totaling 579
Each project is designed to optimize the com-
munity solar model to reduce energy costs for
the utilities¡¯ highest need customers ¨C those who
spend more than 4 percent of income on utility
bills - in Colorado¡¯s rural communities.
¡°Colorado has always been a leader in renewable
energy, and now we take another innovative step
forward as we create community solar models
that are more affordable and available to Colorado
rural electric cooperatives and the low-income
communities they serve,¡± said Colorado Energy
Office Director, Jeff Ackermann.
GRID Alternatives (GRID) received a $1.2 mil-
lion Colorado Energy Office (CEO) grant in August
2015 to implement low-income community solar,
and has played an instrumental role securing
agreements from each utility partner. GRID lever-
aged the CEO investment to attract additional
resources from partnering utilities, private funds
and in-kind equipment donations.
¡°We have seen a tremendous groundswell of hard-
working families wanting solar and the benefits it
brings,¡± said Chuck Watkins, executive director of
GRID Colorado. ¡°These community solar projects
not only provide solar access, they have a com-
munity impact. GRID brings savings to families
that need it most, job training in a fast growing
industry and clean, renewable energy that ben-
efits everyone.¡±
Each utility is piloting a slight variation on the
low-income community solar model to address
the unique needs of rural utility service areas and
their customers. The projects selected are both
affordable and scalable for utility partners, and of-
fer great potential to expand across the state.
¡°Working to provide access to locally generated
and renewable energy for all of our members,
regardless of their income, is part of what we con-
sider the cooperative difference. The affordable
community solar array provides the opportunity
for all of our members to participate,¡± said Delta
Montrose Electric Association CEO, Jasen Bronec.
CEO and GRID Alternatives expect to secure ad-
ditional partnerships with utilities through 2017,
to install 1 MW of combined solar energy for a
minimum of 300 low income subscribers.
For more info visit: or:
Colorado ranks 5th in nation
for LEED green building
DENVER: Gov. John Hickenlooper on January 26
announced Colorado ranks fifth in the nation for
Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design
(LEED) green building in 2015, as released by
the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
LEED-certified spaces use less energy and water
resources, save money for families, businesses
and taxpayers, reduce carbon emissions and
create a healthier environment for residents,
workers and the larger community.
¡°As an early adopter of green building and LEED
certification, Colorado continues to see the
positive impact to the health of our state,¡± said
Hickenlooper. ¡°Colorado is increasing the num-
ber of state government buildings with LEED-
certification, and it is an early adopter of the
LEED Dynamic Plaque certification. Colorado is
certifying the Colorado State Capitol under this
new performance-based system, with only five
buildings certified worldwide to date.¡±
The annual ranking is developed by analyzing
each state in terms of square feet of LEED certi-
fied space per state resident.
Now in its sixth year, the list highlights states
throughout the country that made significant
strides in sustainable building design, con-
struction and transformation throughout 2015.
Colorado certified 95 projects representing
12,218,992 square feet of real estate, or 2.43
square feet per resident, in 2015.
¡°Colorado is a nationwide leader in green build-
ing and LEED certification. LEED creates jobs
and increases opportunities for Colorado¡¯s work-
ers and businesses while contributing billions
of dollars to the state¡¯s economy,¡± said Rick
Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of USGBC.
¡°LEED has become an essential standard for the
transformation of building design and construc-
tion. LEED certified buildings drive economic
growth, creates jobs and makes communities
In addition, data from USGBC¡¯s 2015 Green
Building Economic Impact Study show LEED
construction is expected to support 103,000 to-
tal jobs in Colorado and have a total impact on
GDP of $9.05 billion from 2015-2018.
Another Innovative Step
year¡¯s photo contest winners captured the
¡®spirit¡¯ of Colorado agriculture.
¡°We received more than 100 entries in this
year¡¯s contest,¡± said Wendy White, marketing
specialist at the Colorado Department of Ag-
riculture. ¡°The photographs exhibited excep-
tional technical quality and creativity.¡±
The winners were selected based on relation to
Colorado agriculture, creativity and technical
quality. The grand-prize winner is Ryan Kanode
of Haxtun, Colo., with his entry entitled ¡°Har-
vest Afternoon.¡± The winning photograph shows
an ear of field corn clinging to the stalk with a
combine in the background.
Ryan Kanode, Haxtun, CO
Photo Taken in Logan County, CO
Other top finishers include Peter Varney of Du-
rango, Colo., first place in the agritourism cat-
egory; Christine Bebow of Laporte, Colo., first
place livestock; Henry Miles of Eads, Colo., first
place people; and Laura Harwood of Evergreen,
Colo., first place open professional.
Individuals receiving an honorable mention
include Travis Harvey, Castle Rock, Colo.; Gary
Rich, Aurora, Colo.; Sophia Stratton, Berthoud,
Colo.; Brigitte Shafer, Akron, Colo.; Carter
Keegan, Hotchkiss, Colo.; Ashley Sanchez,
Delta, Colo.; Mindy King, Bailey, Colo.; Michael
Santistevan, Oviedo, Fla.; Steve Pohl, Denver,
Colo.; Chelsea Ellingson, Montrose, Colo.; and
Tess Tucker, Ordway, Colo.
Started in 1998, the ¡°Colorado... It¡¯s Agricul-
tural¡± Photography Contest is sponsored by the
AgInsights Committee, Colorado Department
of Agriculture and Northeastern Junior College.
Winning photographs will be displayed in the
Beede-Hamil Agriculture Building at North-
eastern Junior College in Sterling and are also
online at:
Greening Colorado
Photos captured
the ¡®spirit¡¯
of Colorado
January 13, 2016:
Winning entries in
the 18th annual
¡°Colorado... it¡¯s Ag-
ricultural¡± Photogra-
phy Contest show-
case the diversity of
Colorado¡¯s agricul-
tural landscape.
From inquisitive cat-
tle and picturesque
barns to feeding
steers and winter
equine scenes, this
The Western Colorado Latino Chamber of Com-
merce (WCLCC) will celebrate its 3 year anni-
versary on Feb 10, 2016, featuring special VIP
guest Roberto Garcia.
Born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, Roberto
has spent more than 10 years in the US, has
a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and
a MBA from the University of North Carolina
at Charlotte. He is the recipient of the 2015
Emerging Business of the Year award by the
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro St
Louis, a grant recipient by the Arch Grants
Startup Global Competition, founder of LISTO, a
movie soundtrack translation service.
Members and non-members are invited to
celebrate with the WCLCC from 5-7:30p at the
Western Colorado Community College¡¯s Chez
Lena Restaurant, 2508 Blichman Avenue, in
Grand Junction.
The event will feature food, drinks, live music
and door prizes. Tickets are $25 for members
and $40 for non-members. RSVP by February
8 via email: or by
phone 970.209.5320.
Latino Chamber Celebrates