Date: 01/16/2009

Presentation by the Governor's Energy Office


Votes: View--> Action Taken:

01:23 PM -- Presentation by the Governor's Energy Office

Mr. Morey Wolfson, Governor's Energy Office (GEO), distributed several handouts from the Governor's Energy Office, including a presentation about energy efficiency, renewable energy and transmission issues (Attachment D), a document entitled "Key Transmission-Related Developments in Colorado Since 2006" (Attachment E), a document entitled "Renewable Energy Development Infrastructure (REDI)" (Attachment F), and a handout with recent newspaper articles and related information about the natural gas industry (Attachment G). He also distributed a publication entitled "Renewable Resources To The Markets" (Attachment H).

09JobCreation0116AttachD.pdf 09JobCreation0116AttachE.pdf

09JobCreation0116AttachF.pdf 09JobCreation0116AttachG.pdf

(the full version of Attachment H can be viewed at Archives)

Mr. Wolfson began his presentation on the benefits of renewable energy. Mr. Wolfson discussed the role of the office in the statewide effort to promote clean energy projects, saying Colorado has tremendous renewable resource potential. Mr. Wolfson noted that there are many challenges and market factors that play a role in terms of bringing more projects such as high voltage transmission lines to Colorado. He closed by pointing out that statutory changes are needed to allow the office to bond certain renewable energy projects.

01:30 PM

Mr. Tom Plant, GEO, began by giving the committee an overview of the GEO and commented on the office's ability to bond energy projects. In response, Senator Schwartz asked that the GEO come back with some recommendations for the state to create jobs in the renewable energy sector. Mr. Plant responded by discussing the release of a green jobs study and its findings. He stated that the breadth of jobs tied to the new energy economy is extensive especially in the San Luis Valley. Mr. Plant said that overall, the GEO focuses its attention on energy savings projects tied to buildings in order to reap savings and create jobs.

Mr. Plant noted that money invested in energy efficiency upgrades promote the greatest amount of economic activity in terms of jobs. These energy companies have not been affected by the credit crunch and energy is one sector of the economy that investors are willing to fund because these projects have less financial risk.

Mr. Plant discussed the market's trend toward high efficiency buildings and discussed state funding for the GEO. He noted that the revenue estimate for December 2008 is showing that the gaming forecast has declined, which may make less money available for the office in FY 2009-10. Mr. Plant turned the discussion to clean energy delivery systems (transmission projects) and discussed the potential for development in the western United States. He said the GEO must first define and analyze existing approaches to finance transmission projects, and is investigating the viability of new opportunities, including cost sharing and the potential role of refinancing projects. Mr. Plant closed the discussion by talking about the jobs tied to renewable energy. He mentioned the new Vestas Power Plant Project in Pueblo and other companies that bring such jobs to Colorado. These are generally high-paying jobs that add to the state's tax base.

Mr. Morey Wolfson, GEO, concluded the GEO's presentation by commenting on the federal grants that are transferred to the GEO. At the conclusion of the presentation, the committee engaged in a brief discussion on the recent construction of the Grand Junction cellulostic ethanol plant.

02:02 PM

Mr. Lee White, Colorado Clean Energy Development Authority (CEDA), began discussing two issues tied to transmission-related needs in the state. First, he expressed a need for legislation that would facilitate funding for new transmission lines or the upgrading of existing lines in rural Colorado. Currently, there is a statutory restriction that prohibits CEDA from issuing loans for transmission projects. Second, he said that CEDA needs to be able to engage in some fossil fuel production to offset the total energy needs of the state. He closed by saying that state law must be changed to allow fossil fuel energy to be part of CEDA's total energy mix.

02:09 PM

The committee engaged in a discussion about the statutory changes needed to allow the GEO to bond energy projects. Senator Schwartz asked the Office of Legislative Legal Services to research the changes needed to allow the GEO to bond certain energy projects.

02:12 PM

Mr. Gregory Johnson, Patton Boggs LLP, noted that he worked on the CEDA staff and commented on the need for legislation to allow it to bond certain types of clean energy projects. He closed by saying that certain clean energy projects have to be deemed important by CEDA to be eligible for funding.