Garfield Clean Energy wins statewide clean energy award | PostIndependent.com

Garfield Clean Energy wins statewide clean energy award

Heather McGregor
Clean Energy Economy News

Irv Halter, left, executive director of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, presents an award for statewide clean energy leadership to Jason White, center, and Tom Jankovsky, board members of Garfield Clean Energy.

Garfield Clean Energy was one of eight community efforts recognized Jan. 31 at the Colorado Communities Symposium for its clean energy leadership.

The three-day symposium in Aurora, hosted by the Compact of Colorado Communities and the State of Colorado, brought 400 elected officials and community leaders from across Colorado to discuss climate change preparedness and clean energy development.

Garfield Clean Energy was recognized for its innovative use of energy efficiency, renewable energy and alternative transportation fuels to drive economic development. Also recognized was CLEER, which manages the programs and services of Garfield Clean Energy.

Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky, treasurer of the Garfield Clean Energy board, and GCE board Vice-Chair Jason White of Roaring Fork Transportation Authority accepted the award, presented at a banquet Wednesday evening.

"We are an example for other rural communities on how to bring an entire county together and work together for a common cause," Jankovsky said.

He noted that year after year, Garfield Clean Energy has leveraged contributions from its nine member governments to bring about clean energy projects valued in the millions of dollars.

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"This just shows how we can leverage those funds to create jobs in this energy sector and how positive that is for our county," Jankovsky said.

Jankovsky noted that Gov. John Hickenlooper honored Garfield County by citing several examples of local clean energy projects during his keynote presentation on Wednesday. They included the large solar arrays powering Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale, water treatment plants in Battlement Mesa and Silt, and all of Rifle's municipal buildings and facilities.

"Across Colorado, local governments are playing a critical role in reducing emissions to address climate change," Hickenlooper said. "These local programs are laying the groundwork for Colorado's place as a climate and clean energy leader."

Alice Laird, executive director of CLEER, credited community leaders from Parachute to Carbondale for their commitment to Garfield Clean Energy, resulting in the statewide recognition.

"The CLEER team is honored to be part of this countywide partnership that helps families, businesses, and governments save energy and tap local power sources," Laird said. "We're excited that this effort, which we launched together in 2009, has resulted in tangible economic and environmental results, while helping to diversify the economy."

Other recipients of the Colorado Communities Symposium clean energy leadership awards were community clean energy programs in Aspen, Gunnison, Durango, Denver, Fort Collins and Jefferson County, as well as the Clean Energy Credit Union of Englewood.

The clean energy leadership awards recognize innovative programs and initiatives that "demonstrate a bold vision for a clean, resilient and prosperous Colorado," according to Daniel Kreeger, executive director of the Association of Climate Change Officers and a lead organizer of the symposium.

"These programs are role models for other Colorado communities," Kreeger said.

To learn more, visit GarfieldCleanEnergy.org