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Raton and Colfax County Look to New Energy Future - Plans Renewable Energy Feasibility Study
Educational Foundation, Inc.
130 PARK AVENUE
PO BOX 1712
RATON, NM 87740
Raton and Colfax County Look to New Energy Future
A New Collaborative Plans Feasibility Study
to Investigate Pathways Toward Energy Independence
RATON, NM — Today, The Center for Sustainable Community (www.sustainraton.org)
In the MOU, these parties agreed to "collaborate upon the design and acquisition of funding for a study that will recommend the optimal configuration of an independent, cost efficient, and resilient electric energy system to serve the area, including an evaluation of renewable energy sources using locally available resources." The partners are now preparing a request for proposal to fulfill the project's objective.
Geoff Peterson, Executive Director of The Center, said "our region has a long history of energy independence and the MOU represents a concrete step towards bringing back jobs and reversing an enormous economic leakage."
For the past two years, The Center and SFCC have been working in various ways to forge a pathway for improving the local economy by forwarding a new vision of energy and food independence. Among other projects facilitated by The Center, SFCC has introduced a broader range of dual credit programs and the concept of a project-based curriculum in the Raton Public Schools. The Center and SFCC have also collaborated on a project to recruit and train employees for Miners Colfax Medical Center in Raton.
Luke Spangenburg, Director of SFCC's Biofuels Centers of Excellence, said that SFCC supports the efforts of RPS to review different energy technology scenarios to benefit Raton and its neighboring communities for the long term. "RPS and its regional partners have a unique opportunity to lead the way in New Mexico with energy resiliency,"
Peterson said that The Center's efforts to take a leadership role in creating energy independence and resiliency have been greatly supported by the Energy Conservation Division (ECD) of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD). Louise Martinez, Director of the New Mexico ECD, traveled to Raton in May to endorse this collaborative in a meeting with RPS and The Center. She was accompanied by ECD staff members who described how alternative energy sources can greatly reduce the cost of electricity in the near future.
The Center recently represented the MOU partners in the "Energy Roadmap Project" sponsored by the New Mexico ECD. The Roadmap is funded by a $300,000 U.S. Department of Energy grant. A press release issued by EMNRD stated that "With the roadmap, the Department will analyze future environmental requirements, policies, supply, demand and resiliency and future measures needed for a more diverse energy portfolio." SFCC is also a participant in the Roadmap Project.
David Spradlin, Manager of Springer Electric, said "The Cooperative is very pleased to be part of this partnership to evaluate the energy needs of Colfax County from a holistic, sustainable approach as this offers great potential for more innovation and economic efficiencies for all citizens of the County than what could be achieved as singular entities."
The Center for Sustainable Community is a non-profit New Mexico corporation established in 1997 to promote educational opportunities for northeastern New Mexico.