• USDA-Rural Development Grant workshop set for Feb. 10



    Funds to be used to help irrigators/water companies with energy savings/renewable options

    DURANGO, Colo. – Those interested in exploring how energy assessments and renewable energy generation might benefit their rural small business or irrigation/water-related business are encouraged to attend an introductory workshop, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011, at La Plata Electric Association (LPEA). LPEA is hosting the workshop to kick-off efforts surrounding USDA-Rural Development Grant funds received in late 2010 to help its members “save their energy.”

    The free, informational workshop will be held 9-10 a.m. at LPEA’s Durango headquarters, 45 Stewart St. (Bodo Park), multi-purpose room. Attendance does not obligate future involvement.

    “The USDA grant funds have been made available to LPEA as part of the Rural Energy For America Program,” said Sue Maxwell, LPEA project specialist. “Basically, we are going to be assisting small, rural businesses – primarily irrigators, ranchers, ditch and water companies learn how to reduce their energy consumption and, if desired and practical, explore renewable energy options.”

    The rural and relatively remote nature of La Plata/Archuleta counties often translates into higher economic costs of doing business, especially if water is a factor, added Maxwell. Assisting small rural businesses in improving energy efficiency and reducing costs ultimately helps these businesses and the region economically.

    LPEA’s initial steps will involve compiling historical electrical usage data energy for those businesses interested in participating, and energy assessments at the facility locations. The assessment will continue over time and include installation of load profile (or electricity consumption) monitoring equipment. Ideas for efficiencies will be suggested, and following implementation, LPEA will document and monitor results.

    “Some facilities could also benefit from renewable options such as micro-hydro, solar PV or perhaps even wind generation,” said Maxwell. “We want to provide our members participating in the program with every possible option to help them save energy and dollars.”

    Reservations to the workshop are not required, but requested. Contact Sue Maxwell at 970.382.7170 or smaxwell@lpea.coop to r.s.v.p. or for further information. Those unable to attend are encouraged to sign up for future email alerts through Constant Contact at www.lpea.coop.

    LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 40,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible.

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