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Posted: June 29, 2009

Green opportunities are growing in Colorado

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's $170 million brings jobs and business development to Colorado

Leslie Boyle

Colorado is expected to receive approximately $170 million as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to invest in renewable energy projects, provide weatherization to low income households and create incentives for homeowners and businesses to improve energy efficiency. The funds will be dispersed through three programs – the State Energy Program, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program and the United States Department of Energy Weatherization Program – each of which is expected to provide jobs and business development opportunities to businesses and individuals in Colorado.

The State Energy Program provides state energy offices with grants to develop and implement renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. Colorado is to receive $49,222,000 of the $3.1 billion designated for the program in ARRA. The Governor’s Energy Office submitted its plan for the funds to the U.S. DOE in May, and after receiving approval from the U.S. DOE, plans to solicit proposals for projects to develop clean energy sources, reduce energy costs for Colorado residents and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program provides funds to state and local governments, Indian tribes and territories to reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions and improve energy efficiency. Colorado intends to allocate its portion of any grant money received to provide energy efficiency services to local communities, such as assistance with establishing local building standards and incentive-based programs for homeowners and business. The GEO plans to apply for $42.6 million, of which 60 percent will go directly to local cities and counties. The GEO will announce in its newsletter when the GEO begins accepting solicitations for funding from the remainder of the EECBG grants.

The final program through which ARRA funds will be dispersed in Colorado’s energy sector is the U.S. DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program. Colorado will receive $80 million of the $5 billion invested nationally in the program. The GEO plans to use this funding to expand weatherization services available to homes of Colorado’s low-income residents through the Energy Saving Partners Program and to improve the network of service providers that provide energy efficiency services for such homes. The deadline for bids into the first request for proposals for the provision of weatherization services has passed, but the GEO has stated that it intends to continue to issue competitive solicitations for services across Colorado, including a request for applications this June to identify service providers that can administer a $2,501,242 statewide multi-family weatherization program. 

As Colorado receives the designated ARRA funds under the three programs designed to invest in and create jobs relating to energy efficiency and renewable energy, the GEO will continue to seek individuals and businesses to help with the development and implementation of the programs.

To find information on requests for competitive solicitations to provide services in connection with SEP, EECBG and the U.S. DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program, visit the GEO’s ARRA site.

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Leslie Boyle is an associate in Holland & Hart’s Denver office. Her practice is focused on the development and financing of renewable energy projects, the formation and structuring of business entities and mergers and acquisitions. She has experience in the drafting and negotiation of contracts relating to the development, construction, and operation of solar and wind energy projects, the sale of solar and wind energy, the structuring of and sale of interests or shares in limited liability companies and corporations and various other business transactions. She can be reached at 303-295-8022 or lsboyle@hollandhart.com.  

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