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La Plata Electric to hold renewable generation meeting

In response to the growing interest in local renewable electricity generation projects, La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) is set to host quarterly public informational meetings.

The first LPEA renewable generation meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 4, at 8 a.m.

“We have been meeting regularly with the solar installers in our area,” said Sue Maxwell, LPEA project specialist, referring to the technicians qualified to install solar thermal and solar PV (photovoltaic) generation panels.

“But we’re fielding an increasing number of calls from our members who are just beginning to investigate renewable generation and may not know where to begin. We hope these meetings will help answer their questions.”

The Feb. 4 meeting, to be held in the multi-purpose/board room at LPEA’s Bodo Park headquarters in Durango (45 Stewart St.), will feature guest speaker Hew Hallock, southern regional representative for the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office (GEO). He is expected to advance information on 2010 renewable generation rebates available to homeowners and businesses in coming months.

“We expect there to be significant rebate funds available from the GEO,” said Mark Schwantes, manager of corporate services. “And they will likely be available for all types of renewable generation projects, but when the funds are gone, they’re gone. We hope to educate our members early so they can be prepared to take advantage of the rebates when they become available.”

Not limited to solar PV and solar thermal, renewable electricity generation includes geothermal, small hydro, biomass and wind.

The renewable generation meeting is expected to be completed by 9:30 a.m. Reservations are not required, but appreciated, as refreshments will be served. For further information, or to R.S.V.P., contact Maxwell directly at 382-7170.