Big Agnes® Inc., maker of innovative sleeping bags, pads and tents, was named a recipient of a new energy economic grant by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter. Governor Ritter announced yesterday 23 New Energy Economic Development (NEED) grants to recipients across Colorado for both renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The grants will help create jobs, strengthen local economies, save energy and money.
“These grants mean jobs, energy savings and lower utility bills for taxpayers across Colorado,” said Gov. Ritter. “Projects funded with these dollars further strengthen our New Energy Economy, diversify the economy in all corners of Colorado and reflect Colorado’s 21st century outlook for developing the jobs and infrastructure that position us as a national leader.”
The grants, which total about $2.2 million and are funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will go to Colorado communities, school districts and nonprofits. Projects include solar power installation for an affordable housing unit in Denver, energy efficiency upgrades for a non-profit preschool in Gilpin County and a small hydro-electric project in the town of Basalt. Big Agnes received $12,064 to help build a five-kilowatt solar array on its headquarters in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
The NEED grants were awarded after a competitive process involving more than 106 applicants seeking more than $18 million. The 23 grant projects will leverage more than $5 million in public-private local matching funds for a combined $7.8 million investment in Colorado communities.
“This is great news,” says Big Agnes co-founder, Bill Gamber. “We strongly believe that in transitioning our business to renewable energy, in this case solar power, it is a win-win scenario for both our business and the environment. This project, along with our purchase of 100% wind generated power at our office and warehouse, will significantly reduce Big Agnes’ carbon footprint. We hope our efforts will inspire other Colorado businesses.”