CSU–Pueblo and SECRES host renewable energy expo in August

Colorado State University-Pueblo and the Southeastern Colorado Renewable Energy Society (SECRES) will host a free community event that showcases renewable energy and energy efficiency from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 8 at CSU-Pueblo.

According to event organizer Kathleen Wilson, the event will encourage businesses and residents to better understand and adopt the technology in existing and new buildings and transportation, which inspired the theme, Repowering Southern Colorado.  A significant hands-on EXPO area will include solar and wind installers, weatherization representatives, green builders, and hybrid and electric vehicles.  U.S. Green Building Council and the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office along with other non-profit organizations and government agencies also will be available with energy efficiency and renewable energy information.

Along with the displays will be several demonstrations of renewable energy technology.  Solar Roast Coffee Owners David and Mike Hartkop will roast beans with their mobile solar roaster while Broomfield schoolteacher Mary Carhartt will have hot-baked cookies using a variety of solar ovens and cookers. Participants will have the opportunity to view the 1.2 megawatt solar array system dedicated in January on the northeast corner of the CSU-Pueblo campus.

Presentations throughout the day will be held in the Life Sciences Auditorium beginning at 9:30 a.m. with a 15-minute virtual solar tour.  It will cover five different stops in southern Colorado. In the past, hundreds of individuals were using gas vehicles and pumping carbon into the atmosphere by driving all over southern Colorado to see homes and facilities, countering the idea of limiting carbon footprints with the event. 

The virtual tour will feature two solar electric systems at CSU-Pueblo as well as two home owners as they explain their solar power systems -- why they were installed, how much they cost, and how much is being saved. The virtual tour also will examine the large solar installation completed by Xcel Energy in the San Luis Valley and one of their wind farms in northeastern Colorado.  Three additional showings will be scheduled throughout the day.  The fifth of the five stops in the DVD will be Maple Leaf Orthopedics in Pueblo, the 2008 Colorado Green Building of the Year and Pueblo’s first-ever LEED® Certified Building.

Four homes will be on a limited actual driving tour, instead of the 10-20 homes from years past. Maps will be available to the two side-by-side homes in the Stonemoor Hills area and two within a few blocks of each other on the Mesa.  During the physical tours, individuals can visit with home owners and get a hands-on and up close look at their systems.

Additional presentations in the Life Sciences Auditorium will feature energy rebate programs, home energy audits, solar cooking, state and federal funding, and green jobs.  Chris Martin, Headwaters Energy and Finance owner from Buena Vista, will provide information on small wind for residential, business, and agriculture.  CSU-Pueblo representatives will summarize campus renewable energy initiatives.  A special short video, Harvesting the Wind, narrated by Morgan Freeman, will be shown.  YRG Sustainability Consultant Dan LeBlanc, Boulder, will talk about LEED for new and existing buildings.

Event host CSU-Pueblo has affirmed its commitment to becoming a model for the overall use of renewable energy sources as evidenced by the installation of two solar power arrays, including one of the largest solar arrays on a college campus in the nation. Recent campus projects have included a variety of green initiatives and energy performance measures in architectural and building system designs including movement sensitive light controls, water efficient fixtures, and more efficient cooling towers.

Engineering faculty and students recently began a two-year study in partnership with the City and Black Hills Energy on the energy efficiency of new LED street lights. In addition, data gathered on the power production of both campus solar system projects will be displayed on a large screen in the lobby of the Technology Building as a constant visible reminder to faculty, staff, students, and the general public of the University’s commitment to renewable energy.

Sponsors of the event include Xcel Energy, Accent Windows, Black Hills Energy, and Vibrant Solar, Inc.  More information about the renewable energy expo and solar tour may be found at  www.cres-energy.org/events or www.secres.wordpress.com.  You may also contact Wilson at kathleen.wilson@colostate-pueblo.edu

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.