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Clean Energy Economy for the Region

June 26, 2017, Vol. 10, No. 5

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Test-ride your bike commute
on Colorado Bike to Work Day June 28

Breakfast stations for bike riders at three venues in Glenwood Springs, one in Carbondale

If bicycling is part of your transportation strategy for the Grand Avenue Bridge Detour, then Bike to Work Day is a good opportunity to check your bike, test your route and get a free breakfast.

Colorado Bike to Work Day

Colorado Bike to Work Day is Wednesday, June 28, and cyclists are invited to stop by any of three breakfast stations in Glenwood Springs and one in Carbondale.

Glenwood Springs breakfast stations:

  • RFTA West Glenwood Park and Ride at 2302 Wulfsohn Road with SGM hosting
  • Glenwood Springs City Hall at 101 W. Eighth St.
  • Alpine Bank at 2200 Grand Ave.

Carbondale breakfast station:

  • RFTA Carbondale Park and Ride at Highway 133
    and Village Road

All four stations will be open from 7 to 9 a.m.

“Cycling is going to be a good way to get around in Glenwood Springs during the bridge detour, and cyclists will have an easier time if they get started now,” said Tanya Allen, transportation manager for the City of Glenwood Springs.

“Make sure your bike is road-ready, and get the tune-up and repairs you need for a comfortable and safe ride,” Allen said.

“Bike gear is important too. The essentials for a bike commuter are a helmet, a bike lock, and racks or baskets to carry your cargo,” she added.

Bike to Work Day will give riders a chance to test their commuting route and timing.

The breakfast stations will also display the new Glenwood Springs bicycle route map, Grand Avenue Bridge detour maps, information on safe cycling and bikes on buses, and RFTA bus schedules.

Cyclists can enter a drawing for great prizes, including a golf game for four at Ironbridge Golf Club, insulated bike water bottles from Sampson Sports, and a folding bicycle multi-tool provided by the Granite – Wadsworth joint venture contractors.

The breakfast station at the West Glenwood Park and Ride will also serve as the first in a series of neighborhood events hosted by the Colorado Department of Transportation in advance of the bridge detour. Anyone who lives or works in West Glenwood on the south side of the Colorado River is invited to stop by.

“Visit the CDOT table to learn about your transit, biking and walking options during the detour. It’s also a chance to meet your neighbors to plan carpooling. Those shared car trips can also help us reduce traffic congestion,” said Tom Newland, CDOT Project Public Information Manager.

The Colorado Bike to Work Day breakfast stations on June 28 are hosted by the City of Glenwood Springs, Alpine Bank, SGM, RFTA, Colorado Department of Transportation, Garfield Clean Energy, CLEER and Glenwood Springs Bicycle Advocates.

Sponsors include the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, Sunlight Ski and Bike Shop, Ironbridge Golf Club, Factory Outdoor, Sampson Sports, Defiant Pack, Backcountry Chiropractic and Aloha Mountain Cyclery.Ride Garfield County

Riders who haven’t yet signed up for the Ride Garfield County Bike and Bus Challenge are encouraged to get registered and start logging their miles for bicycling and for riding RFTA buses and carpooling. To get started, visit .

“We’re competing locally, and all our miles add together for Ride Garfield County to compete with communities across the country,” said Karen Wahrmund, event organizer for Garfield Clean Energy and CLEER.

Additional sponsors are welcome to help with local events and prizes. Contact CLEER at (970) 704-9200 or to learn more.
Ride Garfield County sponsors

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Working Together to Maximize Local Solar
to Power Our Region

Register today for July 14 workshop to be held in solar-powered Rifle

CLEER, Garfield Clean Energy and CORE invites everyone interested in further development of local solar energy to attend a free workshop, Working Together to Maximize Local Solar to Power Our Region, on Friday, July 14, in Rifle, the U.S. community with the most publicly-owned solar energy per capita located within town boundaries.

As communities in our region set renewable energy goals of 35 to 100 percent of local power needs, solar energy is a key renewable resource that can be used to reach those goals.

Join us for a workshop and discussion covering rooftop solar, community solar and utility-scale solar, incentives and permitting for solar installations, micro-grids and energy storage, and the role of electric utilities in employing solar energy on their grids.

Speakers include Kevin Cray, solar trade relations manager for Xcel Energy, Bryan Hannegan, CEO of Holy Cross Energy and a former research and development leader with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Electric Power Research Institute, and Kevin Brehm, rural electric co-op and municipal utility lead for the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Shine Initiative.

Working Together to Maximize Local Solar to Power Our Region is set for 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, July 14, at the solar-powered Rifle Branch Library, 207 East Ave. The Rifle Library, with a 53-kilowatt array on its roof, is one of 13 public buildings and facilities powered by a solar arrays generating a total of 3 megawatts of solar energy.

A free lunch will be served for those who register. Visit to register.

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Chris Lane in his 2017 Chevy Bolt
Chris Lane of Basalt charges his new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt all-electric vehicle at Whole Foods Market in Basalt. Lane purchased the vehicle through the regional Electric Vehicle Sales Event.
Photo by Heather McGregor

Electric vehicle buyers pleased with their new cars

EV Sales Event discounts ‘pushed us over the edge,’ buyers report

Heather McGregor
Clean Energy Economy News

Chris Lane is in a competition with himself to make the most energy efficient trip from Basalt to Aspen in his new Chevrolet Bolt.

Greta Blamire is using the electric mode in her new Audi A3 e-tron for all her local driving in Avon. “I’m the one with the big smile,” Blamire said.

And at the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, two managers are driving new Nissan Leafs, an easy way of saving the district about $900 a year in fuel costs.

These are some of the auto buyers who used the three-county Electric Vehicle Sales Event to get an extra discount to purchase or lease a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or an all-electric battery electric vehicle.

The Sales Event started April 1 and runs through June 30. The participating dealers are Mountain Chevrolet, Audi Glenwood Springs, Boulder Nissan, and Co’s BMW Center of Loveland. Since the Sales Event launched, they have sold or leased 30 electric vehicles.

On June 23, Nissan USA announced that its discount on the Leaf will increase to $10,000, and Boulder Nissan will offer the discount through July 31, or for as long as 2017 models are available, for all customers of Xcel Energy, Holy Cross Energy, Aspen Electric, Glenwood Springs Electric and Black Hills Energy in Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties. Click here for the Nissan discount flyer.

And Holy Cross Energy is offering a $200 utility bill refund for any customer who purchases a new electric vehicle from one of the four participating dealers by June 30. The refund will cover the cost of charging an electric vehicle for about 6,000 miles of driving.

Blamire learned about the Holy Cross discount a few weeks after she replaced her 2005 Audi A4 with the new A3 e-tron. “That was pure icing on the cake,” she said.

A Holy Cross customer newsletter sent out in March described the special pricing on the Audi, BMW, Chevrolet and Nissan electric vehicles. Blamire was already looking for a new car, possibly a plug-in. Once she learned about Audi’s e-tron plug-in and the Sales Event pricing, she went to Audi Glenwood Springs in early May to make the purchase – on her birthday.

“That just pushed us over the edge as far as decision-making,” she said of the $2,200 discount from the dealership, along with more than $9,000 in state and federal tax credits.

Chris Lane charging his Bolt at Whole Foods Market.

Chris Lane gets a free charge at one of two dedicated EV parking spots at Whole Foods Market in Basalt.

In Basalt, Chris Lane made an upgrade in the Chevrolet line, after driving a Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid for the past five years. He was the first customer to buy the all-electric Chevy Bolt from Mountain Chevrolet.

“It’s become an obsession for me,” said Lane, who commutes from Basalt to Aspen daily, keeping a close eye on the electricity consumption on his trip.

“On a typical day, from Basalt to Aspen is 5.2 kilowatt-hours, and to come back is about 2 kilowatt-hours,” he said. One kilowatt-hour is about the same amount of electricity as 16 old-fashioned incandescent 60-watt light bulbs would use in an hour.

Lane recently made the trip home on just 1.8 kilowatt-hours. “I’m competing against myself to see how low I can get it,” he said.

The Bolt is not just about energy efficiency, he said. It’s a “pure joy” to drive, climbing steep mountain roads and taking curves with plenty of power, rocketing from 0 to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds.

“Once you have an electric vehicle, you’ll never go back to an internal combustion engine,” Lane said. “They take virtually no maintenance, they’re faster and more reliable, and with snow tires they do fine in the snow.”

Lane has found plenty of public charging stations to use while in Aspen, and he expects long-distance trips to be feasible in the Bolt as more fast chargers are installed in cities, towns and along highway routes.

He already made a trip to Moab in the Bolt with his wife, their two kids, plus bikes and gear, testing the advertised 238-mile range of the vehicle.

“I see a day when gas stations go extinct,” he mused.

At the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, Fleet and Facilities Supervisor Gusty Kanakis used the Sales Event discount to buy two Nissan Leafs in May from Boulder Nissan as company cars for General Manager Linn Brooks and Field Manager Glen Phelps.

“Our special district can’t get the tax credits like private buyers can,” Kanakis said, “but with the Nissan discount, that made it work. We decided to buy two cars instead of one at this rate.”

Brooks and Phelps had both been driving hybrid Toyota Camrys, which will be passed along to other district employees driving non-hybrids. Between the two, they put about 18,000 miles a year on their company cars, so the fuel price differential is expected to be at least $900 a year.

“Both of them are very positive about the Leaf,” Kanakis said. “They are really enjoying their cars, and I have heard no negatives.”

Brooks lives in the Wild Ridge subdivision, a steep uphill climb from Avon. She has reported no difficulties with the steep grade, and can gain some battery recharge on the downhill trip by using the regenerative braking common on electric vehicles.

The purchase also moves the district forward on its sustainability plan, Kanakis said. He is making plans to purchase another electric vehicle in 2018.

Kanakis also won a grant from the Charge Ahead Colorado program to install a two-plug Level 2 EV charger at the district’s Vail facility. He also installed a one-plug charger at the Avon field office.

The EV Sales Event also set a goal of increasing public electric vehicle charging in the three-county area to 200 plugs by Dec. 31, a 25 percent increase over the 160 plugs now available.

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Aspen installs third electric vehicle fast charger

50-kW charger delivers 200 miles of range in one hour 

Galena Street DC fast charger

The City of Aspen's Nissan Leaf gets a fast charge at the new public EV charge station on Galena Street.
Photo by Laura Armstrong

The City of Aspen installed its third public electric vehicle DC fast charging station this month at the corner of Galena and Dean streets. Drivers can park and charge for a up to one hour. Vehicle charging is free with a ChargePoint access card; normal parking rates apply.
The Galena Street Level 3 charger has a 50-kilowatt output, making it one of the fastest stations available on the U.S. market, charging at vehicles for up to 200 miles of range in an hour. This compares to the more common Level 2 charging stations, which charge 10-20 miles of range per hour.
The project was supported through a Charge Ahead grant from the Colorado Energy Office.
Aspen’s other two DC fast chargers are in the Rio Grande Parking Garage and at the Pitkin County Public Works facility at the Aspen Airport Business Center.
The new fast charger is part of the city’s 2017 Aspen Community Electric Vehicle Readiness Plan, which is aimed at expanding use of electric vehicles and availability of public and workplace EV charging locations.
Drivers of all-electric vehicles can also apply for a permit to park for free in Aspen’s residential areas.
For more information, call the Aspen Canary Initiative at (970) 920-5104.
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Holy Cross Energy

Garfield Clean Energy

Many thanks to Holy Cross Energy, Garfield Clean Energy
and CLEER contributors. Your support makes this work possible.

In this issue

Test-ride your bike commute on Colorado Bike to Work Day June 28

Register today for workshop on maximizing solar power in our region

Electric vehicle buyers pleased with their new cars

Aspen installs third electric vehicle DC fast charger

Wednesday Webinars

State Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee declines to fund Colorado Energy Office

Submit your news and events to
Clean Energy Economy News

Clean Energy Economy News accepts news, events and training information related to clean energy and sustainability for monthly publication. Send your items to Editor Heather McGregor at


Free weekly webinars
offered on energy efficiency

Colorado series aimed at
building and mechanical contractors, code officials

A robust series of free, weekly, one-hour webinars focused on energy efficiency in residential and commercial structures has been extended and will now run through Sept. 6.

The Wednesday Webinar Series is offered every Wednesday, from 12 to 1 p.m., with a different topic offered each week. Topics for the next few weeks include:

June 28 - Commercial Energy Code Plan Review Submissions

July 5 - Understanding Xcel Energy programs

July 12 - IECC Commissioning Requirements

July 19 - HERS Index and Code Compliance

July 26 - Intro to Building Science

August 2 - Manual J Review

August 9 - Issues, Concerns and FAQs on the IECC

August 16 - IECC Electrical Power and Lighting, A Deeper Dive

August 23 - COMcheck Basics

August 30 - IECC for Multi-Family Construction

The webinars are hosted by Colorado Code Consulting, the Colorado Energy Office and Xcel Energy. All webinars are eligible for 0.1 ICC CEU and 1 AIA learning unit.

Download the full schedule here for registration details.

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State Legislature’s
Joint Budget Committee declines to fund Colorado Energy Office

Coverage from June 21, 2017

Denver Post
Colorado Energy Office, a lightning rod in the renewable energy debate, set to run out of funds despite last-ditch effort

A six-lawmaker panel rejected an emergency funding request for the Colorado Energy Office from Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper that sought to extend the office’s $3.1 million budget for another year. The move would have kept the agency intact while lawmakers continue their own negotiations on the future of an office that both sides agree is needed.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
Lawmakers reject request by guv to direct money to Energy Office

On a 3-3 party-line vote, the Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee rejected the governor’s request Tuesday to get money for the Colorado Energy Office.

During this year’s legislative session, lawmakers opted not to spend the $3.1 million needed to keep the office and its 24 state-funded employees.

While Gov. John Hickenlooper has said that he would find a way to retain those workers — 10 additional ones are paid with federal funds — his request threatened to terminate them at the end of the month. That’s when the current fiscal year — and any funding for the office — ends.

Colorado Springs Gazette
Effort to fund Colorado Energy Office fails after Republicans raise objections

An effort to save much of the Colorado Energy Office failed on Tuesday after Republicans objected to a funding request made by the governor's office.

Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, asked for $3.1 million to preserve the Energy Office, which in addition to promoting renewable energy, also assists schools, the agriculture industry and developers reduce energy costs.

But in a 3-3 vote, the Joint Budget Committee killed the request down party lines.


Glenwood Springs Post Independent
May 9, 2017
Holy Cross Energy
names new chief executive

Holy Cross Energy, an electric co-op of approximately 42,000 members, named Bryan Hannegan as its new president and chief executive officer.

The Holy Cross Energy board of directors selected Hannegan after a national search process to fill the CEO position following the upcoming retirement of CEO Del Worley.

With nearly 20 years of experience in and around the electricity industry, Hannegan has a combination of technical knowledge, policy and government background, and management experience.

He most recently led multiple research and development teams at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Electric Power Research Institute, advancing innovations in fossil and renewable generation, environmental compliance, and electricity delivery and use.

Aspen Daily News
May 26, 2017
Carbondale company wins contract for Pitkin County solar project

A Carbondale company, Sol Energy, has won the bid to install a 104-kilowatt solar-generation project at the Pitkin County Public Works Campus, located across Highway 82 from the airport.
The $230,000 project will mark the county government’s first foray into large-scale sun power.

EIA solar graphic
June 1, 2017

More than half of small-scale photovoltaic generation comes from residential rooftops

Generation from small-scale photovoltaic (PV) systems totaled about 37% of the annual generation from all U.S. solar PV electricity generators in 2016. EIA’s small-scale category includes PV systems that have less than one megawatt (MW) of generating capacity.
US Dept. of Energy Blog
May 10, 2017
Four Technologies Driving Energy Efficiency Jobs

When you think of energy jobs, you may first picture someone fixing a wind turbine or installing a solar panel.

These jobs are certainly on the rise. But as businesses and homeowners increasingly seek cost savings on their utility bills, a large portion of energy jobs today – almost a third in fact – are focused on efficiency.

More than 133,000 energy efficiency jobs were added in 2016, bringing the total number of Americans working in the sector to 2.2 million people.


Denver Post
June 5, 2017
As bike commuting soars, so do injuries; annual medical costs are now in the billions

A study published in the journal Injury Prevention estimates that for injuries suffered from 1997 to 2013, the medical costs for crashes involving adults increased by an average of $789 million each year.

In 2013 alone, total costs were $24.4 billion — about double the amount for all occupational illnesses, the researchers wrote.

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