June 26, 2021. The Grand Valley Cleantech Business Coalition (CBC), with help from the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, Grand Junction Economic Partnership, Colorado Cleantech Industry Association, and E2-Environmental Entrepreneurs has doggedly followed the proceedings to identify bills that could bring immediate economic benefits to the region by stimulating its burgeoning Cleantech Industry.

As the co-chairs of the Cleantech Business Coalition (CBC), Ken Scissors and Jim Marshall, shared these exceptional opportunities with The Daily Sentinel’s readers. While there are many bills with potential benefit, they focused on two of the most promising.

HB21-1253: “Renewable and Clean Energy Project Grants.” This bipartisan bill adds a one-time infusion of $5 million to the Department of Local Affairs’ (DOLA) existing Renewable and Clean Energy Grant program, which provides grants to local governments to fund public renewable energy projects.

“The city of Grand Junction recently granted $540,000 from the existing initiative toward its Persigo Methane to Compressed Natural Gas project, widely hailed as a ground-breaking accomplishment resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue and cleaner fuel for city vehicles. Now with additional funding from this bill, the opportunity for Grand Junction, Mesa County, Fruita, and Palisade to attain funding for money-saving clean energy projects couldn’t be better. These extra funds will run out, so we are urging our local government leaders to move quickly.”

HB21-1149: “Energy Sector Career Pathway in Higher Education.” This bill tasks the Colorado Workforce Development Council in collaboration with leaders in workforce development and higher education to design a career pathway primarily in the solar photovoltaic and renewable careers (SPARC) workforce development program in the Department of Labor and Employment.

“These two bills, along with many others in various sectors, are generously providing opportunities to expand and diversify our economy at a time of great need, especially here on the Western Slope. We are not done battling COVID-19, but we are at a stage of rebuilding and growing our businesses and job markets. With the cleantech industry growing rapidly throughout the nation and the state, these particular bills offer great opportunities for us to move our economy forward, something we would all like to see happen.”