Gordon and Virginia Eaton Energy Fund
The Gordon and Virginia Eaton Fund supports the use of alternative energy sources and society-wide conservation measures. The fund was named in 2011 in honor of long-time GSA supporters Gordon and Virginia Eaton who made a signature gift to the establishment of this fund. Additional contributions to the Eaton fund have come from a number of generous gifts from GSA members and staff and are augmented by renewable energy credit (REC) payments that GSA receives from Xcel Energy for operating the new 65.5KWH rooftop solar system (known as Phase 1). These payments are projected to be about $10,000 per year and will continue through December 2029.
Meanwhile, GSA obtains the balance of its energy from renewable sources via the Windsource Program (see below)
Phase 1 Solar Installation
(completed October 2010)
Bella Energy, a Louisville, Colorado company, completed the design, procurement, installation, and commissioning of a 65.5 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic system on the roof of GSA's headquarters building at 3300 Penrose Place, Boulder, Colorado in 2010. System production was designed for about 90,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. The cost of the 65.5 kW system was partially offset by a $132,000 rebate from Xcel Energy and a $30,000 grant that GSA received from the City of Boulder Climate Smart program. You can see the day-by-day energy production at https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public/systems/cQB79290.
Phase 2 Solar Installation
GSA is now working to design and finance a Phase II solar project that will result in that all GSA’s power coming via solar energy. The will involve a ground-based system that can generate as much as 152 kW. For technical reasons, this is likely to be down in two steps with funding provided by a vehicle known as a Power Purchase Agreement with a private third party. This allows GSA to benefit from some of the significant tax benefits for installation of renewable energy systems even though it is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization.
Current and future contributions to the Eaton Fund will allow GSA to decrease the amount of money sought through the PPA. Thus, such gifts not only allow GSA to reduce its annual expenditures, thus generating additional resources for programs that benefit members, but also address the third leg of GSA’s tripartite mission: Science, Service, and Stewardship.
For more than a decade. Xcel Energy has played a pivotal role in the commercialization and advancement of wind energy. Launched in 1998, the Windsource program has grown to be the largest voluntary green energy program in the United States in terms of customer participation, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Through the program, customers can specify that part or all of their electricity be generated by the wind. GSA now uses Windsource to obtain energy not generated via its existing solar energy system.