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Colorado Officials Meet with USDA Business Programs Administrator to Discuss Renewable Energy Opportunities

Attendees at the recent “Building a Sustainable Renewable Energy Program for the 21st Century” conference in Denver, Colorado, participated in discussions about how renewable energy opportunities could create new jobs and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. Among those in attendance was USDA Rural Development Business Programs Administrator Judy Canales.

The event began with a luncheon presentation from Greg Krissek, ICM, Director of Government Affairs and Jim Imbler, ZeaChem, Chief Executive Officer.  Krissek’s presentation to the group focused on the ethanol and biofuels industry.  Krissek has been in the business for 11 years and currently oversees 102 plants with 6.5 billion gallons of ethanol production per year.    He noted that America needs to take what we have learned from first generation biofuels and build on it through adding cellulosic changes to the process.  Imbler focused his discussion on new technology in biorefinery development and in particular a cellulose-based biorefinery platform that could be capable of producing advanced ethanol, fuels and chemicals.  The company is headquartered in Lakewood, Colorado.  They currently operate a research and development laboratory facility in Menlo Park, California and have a 250,000 gallon per year cellulosic biorefinery under construction in Boardman, Oregon.

After the conference, Administrator Canales met with Bruce Bredickas, Executive Vice President and Robyn Kullas, Project Manager, from NexGen Energy Partners, LLP.  NexGen Energy is an owner and operator of distributed renewable energy systems sited at customers’ facilities. The company works with governments, schools, businesses and utilities across the nation to deliver its customers the benefits of clean energy without the capital investment and technical risk.

Canales joined Colorado Rural Development State Director Jim Isgar at the Eldorado Springs Bottling Company in Louisville, CO to tour the facility and discuss a previous awarding of a Rural Energy for America Loan and Grant in Fiscal Year 2010 to Eldorado Springs, LLC.  The entity utilized the funding to install solar panels on the roof of the bottling facility.  The 100 kilowatt project was installed by Namaste Solar and will produce 132,000 kilowatt hours per year.  The energy savings from this project is the equivalent to planting over 10,000 trees or driving approximately 300,000 miles in an average passenger car.  The project is increasing economic activity for the community and providing long term professional jobs.

To find out more about USDA energy programs click here.

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