Energy policy: Grants Awarded for Colorado Renewable Energy Projects

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Here’s the release from the Colorado Department of Agriculture (Stacy Romero):

Fifteen grants totaling over $600,000 have been awarded through the “Advancing Colorado’s Renewable Energy” (ACRE) program.

ACRE is administered by the Colorado Agricultural Value Added Development Board which encourages and promotes business projects that add value to agricultural products, as well as agricultural energy-related projects.

“ACRE is a statewide effort to promote energy-related projects beneficial to Colorado’s agriculture industry,” said Tom Lipetzky, Chief Financial Officer at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “The grants awarded by this project are an important step toward helping our agriculture industry to be a leading participant in the new energy economy.”

Projects must in some way benefit or be tied to agricultural production or the utilization of agricultural land or water. Grants were awarded in three categories: feasibility studies, project participation and research.

Feasibility studies address the viability of establishing an agricultural energy-related project and may address the market for the product, engineering requirements, economic viability, environmental concerns, legal requirements, management, and other necessary study components. A maximum grant amount of $25,000 was awarded to seven feasibility projects:

Arrowpoint Cattle, $13,500, Chaffee County, to assess the feasibility of development of a solar dryer for preparation to pelletize a local brewery/restaurant’s spent grain for cattle feed.
Boulder County, $24,500 to develop a local biodiesel supply chain for Boulder County.
Brink Inc., Boulder County, $7,500 to develop an agricultural Wind Energy Demonstration Guide.
Delta Economic Development, Delta County, $20,000 to assess the feasibility of adding a pellet mill to the Delta Timber Company operations that utilizes beetle-kill timber.
Painted Sky RC&D, Delta County, $25,000 to assess the feasibility of developing a hydro power facility for agricultural applications.
Rocky Mountain Sustainable Enterprises, Morgan County, $25,000 to assess the feasibility of developing an anaerobic digester.
Yuma Conservation District, $20,870 to assess the feasibility of a northeastern Colorado biodiesel facility.

Project participation grants are those where a satisfactory feasibility study has already been completed; funds can be used to assist with the purchase or lease of equipment, construction costs and land costs. A maximum of $100,000 was awarded to three projects:

Microgy Weld County, Weld County, $68,712 to assist in development of a methane-rich biogas production facility.
RMSE Biodiesel, Morgan County, $100,000 to assist in development of a vertically integrated biodiesel production facility.
Biovantage Resources, Jefferson County, $56,178 to assist in developing a library of native Colorado algae species for use in ag wastewater bioremediation and biofuels.

Research grants into agricultural energy related topics and issues could receive up to $50,000 for a single research project. Five research grants were awarded:

CSU-Biochar Reserch, Larimer County, $49,909 to research and asses the energy, economic and environmental benefits of biochar for the Colorado agriculture industry.
GeoSynFuels, Jefferson County, $50,000 to research the development of a biomass press.
iCAST Low Value Biomass, Jefferson County, $50,000 to research generating biopower from low value biomass through torrefaction technology.
iCAST Net Zero Greenhouse, Larimer County, $50,000 to research net-zero greenhouse designs for Colorado.
SE Colo RC&D, Otero County, $49,186 for engine performance testing, fuels evaluation, and enterprise budgeting for diesel biofuel.

“This year’s awards demonstrate not only CDA’s commitment to wind, biogas and biofuel,” continued Lipetzky, “but also to hydro and algal biomass.”

The Colorado Agricultural Value Added Development Board (CAVAD) was created to help facilitate the processing of agricultural products and commodities within the state and to serve as a resource for the state’s agricultural industry. Administered by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, CAVAD was established in 2001 and is led by a board of seven individuals who are appointed by the state legislature and the Governor.

For more information on the ACRE program, visit

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