GCEA GRANT PROJECTS
Gunnison County Electric Association has received a variety of grants to subsidize the cost of programs we offer our members. Some of the externally funded programs are listed below:
Doyleville Wind Project
This pilot project was the brainchild of journeyman lineman Ron Copenhaver (pictured below) who spends a lot of time outdoors in the wind. One day, he got an idea - why not build a wind turbine to generate electricity needed to operate our remotely located Doyleville radio communications station? Any excess generation could be used to off-set some of the energy that GCEA purchases from Tri-State.
GCEA received over $24,000 from the Governor's Energy Office to develop the project, followed by $5,366 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Formal groundbreaking took place in September 2010 and a month later GCEA generated wind energy for the first time in its history.
We are in the process of installing technology that will link the wind turbine to a web-based monitoring system to allow GCEA and its members to view real-time data.
Commercial Energy Audits
Energy audits are the first step a business should take to determine how it uses energy and what measures can be taken to reduce energy costs. But commercial energy audits can cost thousands of dollars. In today's economy, it may be difficult for businesses to take on this additional expenditure.
To help our local businesses make this important investment, GCEA applied for a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2010, we received over $73,000 to subsidize the cost of commercial energy audits and hired a professional engineer to conduct the audits.
Although businesses must pay 25% of the audit cost, the commercial audit will be free if you implement two of the audit recommendations.
GCEA Energy Efficient Building Grant
The GCEA headquarters is located on the outskirts of Gunnison in a building originally constructed in 1975. It may have been state-of-the-art at the time, but the science of building design has evolved over the past thirty years. Today, there are many ways to retrofit a building to make it more energy efficient.
With the help of a $45,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, GCEA has brought energy efficiency improvements to its headquarters building.
Some of the improvements resulting from the grant are insulated walls, triple pane windows, LED lighting, high efficiency water heaters, and Steffes heaters.
The Steffes heater being installed here utilizes Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) technology. The bricks are capable of storing vast amounts of heat for extended periods of time. The stored heat is automatically released to maintain comfortable room temperatures. This allows GCEA to take advantage off-peak rates.