Wyoming efficiency program helps fund solar, retrofit projects for local businesses - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Energy Efficiency, Utilities, Commercial, Distributed Generation, Finance, Solar  -  July 6, 2017

Wyoming efficiency program helps fund solar, retrofit projects for local businesses

A new energy efficiency initiative through the town of Jackson, Wyo., has approved loans for two local businesses to finance upcoming energy projects, including a rooftop solar installation for a local brewery.

Energy Conservation Works, a program developed through a partnership of the town of Jackson, Teton County, local electric utility Lower Valley Energy and a group of local organizations, offers energy efficiency loans for local business at a 0% interest rate.

In late June, Jackson’s public energy board approved loan agreements through Energy Conservation Works with Roadhouse Brewing and Purple Orange, a media and public relations firm, according to the Jackson Hole News & Guide. Both companies are small businesses based in the Jackson area.

Roadhouse Brewing’s loan will finance solar panels on its new brewery location. Amy Haverkampf, director of special projects at Roadhouse Brewing, had already received a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which funded 25% of the $75,000 solar panel project, according to the newspaper. Haverkampf then turned to Energy Conservation Works to help finance the remainder.

According to the Jackson Hole News & Guide, “[a]t Purple Orange the loan will go toward an ‘exhaustive retrofit’ of the firm’s commercial space, including new insulation and windows.”

“We’re supporting local business by helping them do more with less energy consumption,” Phil Cameron, executive director at Energy Conservation Works, told the newspaper. “It helps to streamline their operations, reduce their operation expenses, and a lot of times it aligns with the business’s ethic or mission or principles.”

The town of Jackson’s public energy board created Energy Conservation Works to help achieve its sustainability goals across Jackson and Teton County and advocate for energy conservation and emissions reductions in Jackson Hole.

The project’s goals include generating 2 MW of additional energy from renewable sources over the next 20 years. The clean energy will mitigate the 30 MW of energy needed for the town’s load growth over the next 20 years by 33% through resource conservation. The project also plans to advocate for the adoption of building codes requiring maximum energy efficiency for future buildings and infrastructure.

As part of its energy efficiency efforts, Energy Conservation Works also facilitates independent public projects in the region. Recently, it installed a 111 kW photovoltaic system at a new bus facility, which is expected to supply 80% of Jackson’s START bus system’s electrical needs and save more than 180,000 pounds of CO2 annually.

Energy Conservation Works also installed electric vehicle charging stations at three parking lots in Jackson, in collaboration with Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities, a regional project through the U.S. DOE.

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