The Colorado Department of Agriculture and the Colorado Energy Office are now seeking applicants for agricultural energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, with a total amount available for assistance in 2017 set at $250,000 through the CDA’s Advancing Colorado’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ACRE3) grant program.
According to a release from the CDA, funding is available to Colorado agricultural irrigators, dairies, greenhouses, nurseries, and cold storage facilities.
The release says, “The Colorado Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program provides a turnkey approach that makes energy efficiency improvements easy for producers. The program provides free energy audits, renewable energy site assessments, and technical support services to about 80 Colorado producers annually. CEO administers the program and funds the energy audits and other technical support services.”
The multi-agency ACRE3 Program is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program, and the 2017 assistance total includes $125,000 for energy efficiency projects and $125,000 for renewable energy projects. The effort is meant to provide technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers for installation and maintenance of projects addressing natural resource concerns in Colorado.
Applicants must be enrolled in the agricultural efficiency program and complete either an energy audit to receive funding for energy efficiency projects or complete a preliminary site assessment and technical report to receive funding for renewable energy projects. Applicants may receive up to $25,000 per project. Eligible renewable energy technologies are limited to thermal systems for hot or chilled water, process heat, or space conditioning. Renewable energy technologies for thermal systems include geothermal and advanced heat pump systems, and solar thermal technologies.
Applications are available online at www.colorado.gov/energyoffice/agricultural-energy-efficiency and at www.colorado.gov/agconservation/acre and must be received by the CDA before 4 p.m. on Jan. 13, 2017.