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Solarize Delta County Farms hosts presentation

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Solarize Delta County Farms is teaming up with the Colorado Energy Office and the Colorado Department of Agriculture to host a presentation for agricultural producers in Delta County on state energy efficiency programs and renewable energy financing. The event will be at Heritage Hall in Hotchkiss on June 14 at 7 p.m.

According to Michael Turner, senior program manager of the Colorado Energy Office, Colorado farmers spend more than $400 million annually on energy, equaling 7 percent of the industry's total expenses. The Colorado Energy Office and the Colorado Department of Agriculture have partnered to offer a variety of programs to support energy efficiency and renewable energy projects throughout the state.

The presentation in Hotchkiss will focus on program offerings for energy audits, small hydropower, and other renewable energy options for irrigation, greenhouses, dairies and cold storage facilities. These program offerings address barriers that frequently prevent producers from investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy by bringing partners and resources together with new funding and a turnkey approach.

The program will feature Turner and Sam Anderson of the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Sam Anderson, CEM, is the energy specialist and program administrator for the ACRE3 energy grants program at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The ACRE3 program currently provides technical and financial assistance for energy efficiency, micro-hydropower, and renewable thermal technologies in agricultural applications.

Anderson's presentation at this program falls in line with a recent announcement of funding available to Colorado agricultural irrigators with appropriate hydropower resources. The Colorado Department of Agriculture, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, is seeking applicants for on-farm agricultural hydropower projects. The total amount of available assistance for this round is $1.2 million.

The funding is part of the NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Within RCPP, the Colorado irrigation hydropower program provides funding to agricultural producers to help them add hydropower to new or existing irrigation systems.

Solarize will be hosting another event on Saturday, June 17, on C-PACE (Commercial-Property Assessed Clean Energy) funding at 10 a.m. at the Bill Heddles Recreation Center. To RSVP for either event call 970-527-7657 x213 or email solarize@solarenergy.org.

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