County to get cash for energy projects from stimulus plan

The county got an energy jolt from the feds on Monday.

Mesa County has been authorized $359,800 in federal stimulus dollars to spend on energy-saving projects that could cost as much as $1.2 million.

The energy-saving projects began last year when Mesa County hired Chevron Energy Solutions to do an energy audit. The audit looked at all county-owned buildings with an eye toward energy efficiency. Chevron completed the study and the county cherry-picked several projects from the audit that could be accomplished at a minimal cost and could generate the greatest energy savings.

The city of Grand Junction also received $229,800 in federal stimulus dollars, which are being funneled into the city’s Neighborhood Services Department for energy-efficiency projects.

The county projects are designed to pay for themselves in 11 years through energy savings of $1.3 million. After the 11 years, the savings will continue.

“We are very fortunate that this is one of the very few energy-efficiency projects that is truly shovel-ready,” said Matthew Rush, business development manager for Chevron.

“There will not only be energy savings, but it will make our facilities a more comfortable place to work in,” said Steve Acquafresca, county commissioner.

“All the savings beyond (11 years) will be additional savings.”

The projects are expected to be done by 2010.

“The annual environmental impact is expected to be equivalent to planting 329 acres of trees, or removing 159 cars from the road for the entire year,” according to a media release from the county.

The county dollars came from the federal government’s energy, efficiency and conservation block grant program. The county continues to apply for competitive grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.


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