Building Climate Resilience 

  1. The County's Clean Energy Project
  2. Climate Action  Planning
  3. Solar  Resources and Funding
  4. Electric Vehicle Readiness
  5. Air Quality Monitoring and GHG Inventory
  6.  Residential Commercial E-bike Rebates Incentives 

Beneficial electrification (or strategic electrification) is a term for replacing direct fossil fuel use (e.g., propane, heating oil, gasoline) with electricity in a way that reduces overall emissions and energy costs. There are many opportunities across the residential and commercial sectors. This can include switching to an electric vehicle or an electric heating system – as long as the end-user and the environment both benefit. Ilium Solar Panels

San Miguel County clean energy projects supported through the Colorado Energy Office's Energy Performance Contracting program greatly improved energy efficiency and renewable energy resource utilization across multiple facilities. San Miguel County balances both energy efficiency and renewable energy generation through solar to optimize funding and maximize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions.Norwood Events Center Solar

"The climate crisis we’re experiencing threatens to degrade the quality of life for our residents━from our ranching and agricultural areas to our high alpine, ski and tourism economy,” said Mike Bordogna, County Manager at San Miguel County. “We knew we had to act now and change how we operate to protect our livelihoods and natural environment━changes that can serve as an example for other communities. Energy Performance Contracting helped us connect the dots.”

CEO’s Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) program enabled San Miguel County to evaluate its existing San Miguel Clean Energy Project (SMCEP), conduct a full investment-grade audit with Siemens Industry, Inc.━a CEO pre-qualified Energy Services Company (ESCO)━and plan for energy efficiency improvements across county facilities that are projected to result in utility bill and GHG emissions savings of 20-25%. San Miguel County leveraged CEO’s no-cost technical and contracting assistance to obtain low-interest financing and grants from the Renewable and Clean Energy Initiative, which is a set-aside from the Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund Grant (EIAF) program administered by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

“San Miguel County’s goal is to become carbon neutral, and it dedicates the staff and resources needed to deliver on this commitment,” said Dylan Klomhaus, Technical Specialist at CEO. “Even when facing the unprecedented budget impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, San Miguel County leveraged state programs offered through the Energy Office and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to help fund and move these important projects forward.”

An investment-grade audit identified propane and natural gas appliances that could be transitioned to electric appliances that run on solar energy, known as “beneficial electrification.” Facility improvements in county buildings that reduce energy usage include new LED lights, windows, HVAC controls, and building envelope performance enhancements. A designated SolSmart community, San Miguel County, also installed 264 kW of on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at key county facilities including the Historic County Courthouse, which is part of a National Historic Landmark District. Solar was also added to the Sheriff’s Office, a new annex in Norwood, and the jail facility. Additionally, battery systems totaling 190 kW and 580 kWh of storage capacity provide backup and resiliency to critical operations. The on-site solar PV and energy efficiency improvements provide:

  • 50% of the electricity used by county-owned facilitiesCourthouse Solar
  • Full electrification of three county facilities
  • A carrier-neutral broadband location for Norwood to serve the community and provide redundancy and resiliency
  • A reduction of 7,704 tons of carbon dioxide
  • $2.371 million in cash savings to the county general fund over the project's lifetime 

The county engaged early and often with its community partners including local utility San Miguel Power Association (SMPA), the Sheriff's Office, Telluride Foundation, and EcoAction Partners. SMPA was also able to provide rebates that totaled ~$25,000 in savings.

“Local governments have a critical leadership role to play in helping meet the science-based greenhouse gas pollution reduction goals the state has adopted, both through policies they adopt and leading by example,” said Will Toor, CEO Executive Director. “It’s great to see such ambitious action from San Miguel County towards a future in which clean electricity powers our communities.”

Deep Creek Solar Panels Zoom Out