Grants awarded for Colorado renewable energy projects
Eleven grants totaling $500,000 have been awarded through the "Advancing Colorado's Renewable Energy" 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, markets division director 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 two feasibility projects:
Costilla County Economic Development, $25,000 to assess the feasibility of privatizing the Costilla County Biodiesel facility.
Northeast Colorado RC&D, Morgan County, $25,000 to determine the feasibility of developing a mixed feedstock food & ag waste digester near the Fort Morgan Industrial Park.
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 two projects:
Brink Inc., Lincoln County, $47,500 to develop a demonstration, planning and guidance tool for wind turbines on Colorado feedlots and farms.
Heartland Renewable Energy, Weld County, $75,000 to assist in the implementation of a waste to energy plant in LaSalle.
Research grants into agricultural energy related topics and issues could receive up to $50,000 for a single research project. Seven research grants were awarded:
Applegate Group, Garfield County, $50,000 to research the potential of Colorado's agricultural infrastructure to produce low head hydroelectric power.
BioHarmony Corp., Boulder County, $50,000 to research the potential of a new acceleration technology for ethanol production.
BioVantage Algal Biomass, Jefferson County, $50,000 to research the potential of ag waste to algal biomass.
Colorado State University, Larimer County, $50,000 to assess energy efficiency on various agricultural settings.
Flux Farm, Garfield and Mesa Counties, $50,000 to evaluate various perennial plant species and production inputs for sustainable biomass and bioenergy production on the western slope.
Southeast Colorado RC&D, Prowers County, $27,500 to research oilseed cropping as a strategy for sustained farming in regions impacted by agricultural water transfers in the Lower Arkansas Valley.
Synergistic Building Technologies, Boulder County, $50,000 for Phase 2 of a close-to-zero carbon footprint greenhouse to enhance the design and fully explore and document the rich data from the research.
"This year's awards demonstrate not only CDA's commitment to wind, biogas and biofuel," continued Lipetzky, "but also to hydro, algal biomass and agricultural energy efficiency."
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 www.colorado.gov/ag/energy.