Work begins on Garfield County clean energy strategy
Communities, businesses and residents of Garfield County in the coming months will have new chances to embrace energy efficiency and alternative sources of energy through participation in Xcel Energy’s Partners in Energy.
Partners in Energy provides communities in Colorado free services to develop an energy plan and assistance implementing it, according to the Xcel Energy website. Partners in Energy was introduced in 2014 to join Xcel’s expertise with local partners to build a plan tailored to a community.
Garfield Clean Energy was selected this year to participate in Partners in Energy, which means that Xcel Energy will work with GCE and local stakeholders to create and implement a countywide plan that builds on the energy efficiency and renewable energy programs already offered by GCE and partner utilities.
Garfield Clean Energy is a collaborative consisting of all the towns/cities in Garfield County, Garfield County government, Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and Colorado Mountain College. Xcel Energy provides energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states.
“Just like many areas across the state, Garfield County recognizes the need to review how it uses energy and seek ways to become more efficient. Through Partners in Energy, we will collaborate with the county to develop a unique plan specific to its needs and long-term energy goals,” said Jerome Davis, regional vice president at Xcel Energy-Colorado.
Work begins with a stakeholder workshop from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at the New Castle Community Center, 423 W. Main St. Two more stakeholder meetings will be scheduled later this year.
The stakeholder group will be composed of community leaders, business owners, elected officials and economic development groups. All of the utilities that provide energy services in Garfield County have committed to participate, including Xcel, Holy Cross Energy, Glenwood Springs Electric and Black Hills Energy.
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A report released this month by the Center for Colorado River Studies says that in order to sustainably manage the river in the face of climate change, officials need alternative management paradigms and a different way of thinking compared with the status quo. Estimates about how much water the Upper Colorado River Basin states will use in the future are a problem that needs rethinking, according to the white paper.