The sun is shining on Colorado and the climate for renewable energy is definitely sweet. As a state fortunate to be home to leading solar energy research, I am still amazed by the new developments in solar technology taking place in our great state every day.
Northern Colorado has created a Shangri-La for renewable energy activity. The Fort Collins Zero Energy District, dubbed “FortZED“, is a combination of leading clean tech companies, research at CSU and renewable energy generation tied into a smart grid system. FortZED is located in downtown Fort Collins and includes Colorado Sate University.
Leading clean tech companies involved in FortZED are the Northern Colorado Clean Energy Cluster, Advanced Energy, The Brendle Group, Integrid Laboratories, Spirae, Inc., and the Woodward Governor Company. Research that originally began at Colorado State University in the late 80’s laid the foundation for Abound Solar which recently opened full scale manufacturing facilities in Longmont. Abound Solar’s cad tel (cadmium-telluride) technology is designed for large scale applications such as solar farms and utility projects.
Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) technology is being propelled in Colordado by cutting edge companies like Ascent Solar and SolarFrameWorks. Ascent Solar recently opened a new manufacturing facility in Thornton utlizing CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide) thin film technology. As one of the first large production facilities using CIGS technology, Ascent Solar will incorporate CIGS technology into building materials for the BIPV market. SolarFrameWorks, a unique manufacturer and distributor of solar products located in Golden, recently announced their newest offering to the BIPV marketplace. BIPV CoolPly™ is a single-ply membrane designed and engineered to match specific building design that features cool & reliable performance, high wind resistance and zero roof penetration.
Colorado is also leading the way for development of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology. CSP technology is currently being developed in Arvada by SkyFuel and ReflecTech. The result is SkyFuel’s cutting edge parabolic-shaped concentrating collector called the SkyTrough™.
In July 2009, R&D Magazine selected the SkyFuel SkyTrough as “…one of the 100 most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace over the past year.” The SkyFuel SkyTrough provides a low cost system for utility-size power generation. Many of these technologies are developed in conjunction with NREL, the National Renewable Energy Laboratories, located in Golden, Colorado.
From German based Wirsol Solar to Denmark based Vestas, renewable energy companies from around the world are flocking to Colorado to be a part of the new green economy. The companies mentioned in this blog are just a few of the many renewable energy companies located in Colorado that are innovating and propelling renewable energy technology into the future. Stay tuned as there is so much more to come!