The Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) was founded on March 29, 1996, with Ron Larson and Paul Notari generating the first membership solicitation. Our first board meeting was held on April 8, and the Inaugural Meeting of Membership on May 22, 1996. On June 6, 1996, CRES was incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the state of Colorado.
CRES awards the first Randy Udall Award for Leadership in Climate Change and Clean-energy Policy to Colorado State Senator Gail Schwartz.
CRES is part of a broad coalition of statewide non-profit organizations and consumers seeking to increase the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 20% by 2020 for the state’s rural electric co-ops. Senate Bill 252 passed in the legislature and was signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper.
CRES partners with the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) to bring the World Renewable Energy Forum (WREF) to Denver. Along with hundreds of workshops and sessions, CRES also created “Electric Avenue” which showcased electric vehicle (EV) technologies and EVs across from the Colorado Convention Center. Over 2000 renewable energy supporters attended WREF.
In advance of the Denver Tour of Solar Homes, CRES hosts VIP tours for numerous candidates for the U.S. Congress and Colorado State Legislature (both incumbents and challengers; both Democrats and Republicans).
CRES presents its highest award — the Larson-Notari Award — to Governor Bill Ritter for his tireless efforts to promote Colorado’s New Energy Economy.
Provided support to IREA Voices, a grassroots group of concerned member-owners of Intermountain Rural Electric Association (serving Denver’s outer suburbs), in electing NREL Solar Scientist Mike Kempe to the IREA Board of Directors. IREAs board has long been a fierce opponent of Colorado’s New Energy Economy, and finally having a forward-thinking energy expert like Kempe on the Board is unprecedented in IREA history.
Created a Policy Committee to monitor and provide support to Governor Bill Ritter’s aggressive agenda for Colorado’s “New Energy Economy.” The Policy Committee provided expert testimony to key decision makers and alerted CRES members to important action items at local, state, and federal levels of government.
Hosted SOLAR 2006, the American Solar Energy Society’s annual conference, in downtown Denver July 7-13, 2006. With 1897 registered attendees and over 100 exhibitors, it was the largest national solar energy conference in over 25 years.
Helped negotiate an agreement with Xcel Energy to reduce total sulfur and nitrogen emissions from three coal-fired power plants in Pueblo (Comanche) after the third one, rated at 750 megawatts (MW), is built to a level below that of the first two plants combined; increase the utilitys investment in renewable energy and efficiency; worked together with political leaders in the Colorado Legislature to pass legislation to allow the utility to adopt innovative electric technologies.
Provided support to the successful campaign to pass Amendment 37 that established a renewable energy standard for Colorado. Under this standard, the state’s largest electricity providers must obtain 10% of their power from renewable energy resources by 2015. CRES had set a goal to establish a renewable standard for Colorado in its 2001 strategic plan.
Organized the Colorado Tour of Solar Homes on a statewide basis by publishing a single guidebook, which CRES distributed to more than 2000 tour attendees.
Organized solar activities with eight partners across the state for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Million Solar Roofs (MSR) initiative under the MSR partnership for Colorado.
Intervened in a case before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that led to building the Colorado Green wind power plant in Lamar. Rated at 162 MW, the plant was fifth largest in the United States when construction was completed in January 2003. It was also the first wind power plant to be included in the utilitys rate base. In the PUC case, CRES argued successfully that Xcel Energy had neglected the lowest bid in its resource expansion competition because it came from wind energy.
Organized a coalition to celebrate Earth Day 2000 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Held on the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of Earth Day, this was the largest renewable energy and energy efficiency event in Colorado’s history.
Recognized Colorado building designers, architects, builders, and homeowners for creative inclusion of energy efficient and renewable energy features in commercial, institutional, and residential buildings through the annual Colorado Renewable Energy in Buildings Awards.
Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES)
Fort Collins, CO 80521