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News Release: Congressional, State and Higher Education Leaders Kickoff and Sign Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory Agreement

Feb. 21, 2007

Colorado is poised to become the renewable energy capitol of the world after the kickoff and signing of the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory Agreement.  The Collaboratory is an association of our four institutions, the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU), the Colorado School of Mines (CSM), Colorado State University (CSU) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), dedicated to performing world class research to develop new energy technologies and to transfer these advances as rapidly as possible to the private sector. 

Leaders from the four institutions, including NREL Director Dan Arvizu, CSU President Larry Penley, CSM President M. W. “Bill” Scoggins and CU at Boulder Chancellor G.P. “Bud” Peterson, solidified the Collaboratory Agreement today at a signing ceremony in the west foyer of the State Capitol.  Colorado’s Governor Bill Ritter, United States Senators Ken Salazar and Wayne Allard and Congressmen Mark Udall and Ed Perlmutter spoke at the kickoff. 

United States Senator Ken Salazar -- “Less than one year ago, I met with the leaders of these four Colorado institutions and proposed a concept which has become the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory.  NREL and Colorado’s three research universities are blazing a trail to our energy future.”

Governor Bill Ritter -- “The Collaboratory will serve as one of the key drivers of the New Energy Economy in Colorado,” Ritter said. “By linking our world-class state and federal institutions, we will improve the transfer of technology and renewable-energy advances from the research lab to the marketplace and ultimately to consumers. This is precisely how we will fulfill the Colorado Promise and establish Colorado as a national leader in renewable energy.” 

United States Senator Wayne Allard -- “Colorado is in an excellent position to make a substantial contribution to our nation’s - and the world’s - renewable energy future.  We are strategically placed geographically as well as home to some of the finest universities and institutions in the world. The partnership that is being formed with the signing of this document will be one of the best and most important partnerships of its kind.  I am pleased to represent this state and these fine institutions.”

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Director, Dan Arvizu -- “As the nation’s primary laboratory for renewable energy research and development, NREL is proud of our record of cutting edge science and technology transfer.  NREL’s affiliation with these three great universities will enhance each of our capabilities, increasing the potential for far-reaching contributions in improving our energy security, our environment and our economy.” 

Colorado State University President, Larry Penley – “Colorado State has unique capabilities and an outstanding track record in renewable energy research – from developing specialized energy crops to creating a more robust, integrated, and renewable electrical power system. We also have a special commitment to promote the economic prosperity and quality of life in Colorado, and so we are proud to be a part of the Collaboratory."

Colorado School of Mines President, M. W. “Bill” Scoggins -- “Colorado School of Mines fully commits its worldwide expertise in the areas of earth, energy, materials and the environment to this critical partnership, which will make the Front Range the nation’s center of renewable energy technology development and commercialization.”

University of Colorado at Boulder Chancellor, G.P. “Bud” Peterson -- “Renewable energy technologies offer tremendous promise in confronting some of today’s most pressing issues:  national security, global warming, and economic competitiveness.  With our key strengths in the sciences and engineering as well as social-economic policy and business, all of us here at the University of Colorado at Boulder are anxious to work with our Collaboratory partners to address these challenges.”

Congressman Mark Udall (CO-2) -- “The Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory is a unique undertaking.  It will give us the ability to harness the intellectual capacities of our public institutions and the institutional knowledge of the premier energy laboratory in the world, NREL.  Working together, CU, CSU, the School of Mines, and NREL will enable the Collaboratory to compete for private and public research projects that will help reshape our energy economy.  It will also give Colorado an economic advantage by quickly moving technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace, creating jobs and growing industries.”

Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave (CO-4) -- “The West can play an important role in developing renewable energy resources and we can revitalize our rural communities by generating home grown fuel.  Colorado is well suited for to become an energy leader because of the vast natural resources we have and the resources we are able to grow.” 

Congressman Ed Perlmutter (CO-7) -- “It is time for our nation to walk the walk on investing in renewable energy programs.  I look forward to working with the Collaboratory partners, my colleagues in Congress and the Administration to move forward in increasing investment in renewable solutions and lessening our reliance on foreign oil.”

The Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory will work with public agencies, private enterprise, nonprofit institutions and all of Colorado’s universities and colleges, to strive to:

  • Increase the production and use of energy from renewable resources;
  • Support economic growth in Colorado and the Nation with renewable energy industries;
  • Build a renewable energy economy in rural Colorado and rural America. 
  • Establish Colorado as America’s leading center of energy research and production; and
  • Educate our nation’s finest energy researchers, technicians and work force.

In June of last year, Governor Owens signed House Bill 1322 to provide funding to the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory.  Under the legislation the Collaboratory will receive up to $2 million per year for three years, beginning in fiscal year 2007. These monies can be used only as matching funds to enable the Collaboratory to qualify for federal and private research projects.  NREL and the universities will pay for all overhead costs of the Collaboratory from their existing budgets.  In addition, the legislation requires that, if the Collaboratory uses any state monies as matching funds, those monies must be repaid to the state as the Collaboratory earns income from technologies developed and transferred to private industry.

—George Douglas