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Friday, September 10, 2010

Colton Aims for Energy Independence. Colton!

You can take the Kristi Noem position and contend the stimulus has failed. Perhaps Noem would like to double down and say the stimulus has driven folks crazy.

Exhibit A: Colton, South Dakota, which is announcing its plan to become the first energy-independent city in South Dakota:

The City of Colton has broken ground on it's Energy Independent Community (EIC) Initiative with the start of project construction at all city facilities. Recovery Act funding through the U.S. Department of Energy and S.D. Department of Energy will allow Colton to become the first city within the State of South Dakota to subsidize and offset electricity consumption of all city facilities by the use of small wind and solar hybrid system technology! In addition to producing a majority of the electrical energy needed to power city operations through renewable energy, grant funds will also be utilized to increase the energy efficiency at city facilities with improved insulation, upgraded doors and windows, radiant heat sources, upgraded electrical services and improved efficiency lighting. The project will drastically improve the viability and energy efficiency of city facilities, and effectively double city shop square footage without increasing and possibly even reducing current energy demands of city operations [City of Colton, 2010].

A whole city producing as much power as it uses from wind and solar. Crazy, right?

Wrong. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act wasn't just about keeping and creating jobs. It was about inspiring long-term investment in really good ideas, like building renewable energy infrastructure and making improvements that allow us to produce more of our own energy and use it more efficiently.

Colton is thinking big. They're hosting a ribbon-cutting to showcase their big-thinking initiative at the Taopi Hall in Colton on September 28 at 3 p.m. Perhaps candidate Noem will come to Colton to learn what the stimulus is really doing for her fellow South Dakotans.

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