Don Rogers


We focus on alternative energy development and conservation projects such as:

* Top of the Pines, a beautiful 175-acre tract a few miles outside of Ridgway, is a conservation project for us. We’re working with the TOP board to build TOP into an environmental education and conservation center. For more on our TOP activities, see our Conservation Project section.

* Other projects include promotion of hydro-electric power, electric car stations, and regional composting.

Helpful link

Group Members:

  • Dudley Case
  • John Clark
  • Debbie Cokes
  • Sara Coulter
  • Wiley Freeman
  • Paula James
  • Dave Jones
  • Judi Jones
  • Kris Holstrom
  • Tim Manzagol
  • Tyler Mize
  • Dickson Pratt
  • Bob Risch
  • Don Rogers, Chair
  • Jan van West
  • Rein van West
  • Kim Wheels
  • Scott Williams
  • Walter Wright

Transition OurWay Energy Committee Meeting Minutes May 6, 2014:

Brad Zaporski, San Miguel Power Association’s Manager of Energy/Member Services and Marketing, was our guest speaker.

Brad and the committee decided to just have an open ended question and answer meeting so Brad could hear our questions and concerns.

Brad reviewed the various rebates and tax credit available when an individual or family purchases solar panels.

Telluride has purchased about 450 solar panels (10 percent of the array) from SMPA for use by lower income residents. With that purchase about 50 to 60 percent of the total Paradox Solar array has been sold. Each panel produces about 225 watts.

Brad also mentioned that SMPA’s energy sales have increased as the economy slowly comes back.

The Clean Energy Collective developed and markets the Paradox solar array for SMPA.

Right now the Paradox array is producing about 25 percent more power than SMPA’s business model predicted. In part because of the clear blue skies and high altitude of Paradox Valley. Also, snow is not a big problem there because of the dryness of the valley.

Brad mentioned that there is about 1 percent compounded degradation in solar panel output each year.

Net metering pays a little bit more back to customers than the solar panels purchased in the Paradox array, but customer don’t have to worry about maintenance of their solar panels when they buy into the array.

Currently SMPA has the highest net metering penetration in the state of any power company, approximately 1.04 percent of SMPA’s total electrical meters.

Also the real estate community and appraisers don’t understand how to market and value solar panels or solar systems.

According to Tri-State (SMPA’s parent corporation) SMPA has reached its 5 percent limit on electrical power generation from renewable energy. However, this 5 percent does not include net metering. Most of the renewable energy SMPA gets is from small hydro electric plants.

Under new Colorado legislation retail distributive generation as defined is generallynet metering.

Brad also talked about the EPA’s MACT Rule.   For all natural-gas- and refinery-gas-fired units and all existing units with a heat-input capacity of less than 10 MMBtuh, the rule establishes a work-practice standard instead of emission limits. The work-practice standard requires an annual tune-up for each natural-gas- and refinery-gas-fired boiler and a biennial tune-up for each existing boiler with a heat-input capacity of less than 10 MMBtuh.

For all other boilers (essentially all boilers that do not burn natural or refinery gas and have a heat-input capacity of greater than 10 MMBtuh), the rule sets emission limits for HAPs or HAP surrogates, including:

  • Particulate matter (PM) as a surrogate for non-mercury metallic HAPs.
  • Mercury (Hg).
  • Hydrogen chloride (HCl) as a surrogate for acid-gas HAPs.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) as a surrogate for non-dioxin organic HAPs.


Tri-State is still focused on safe, affordable and reliable energy production and really isn’t focused on renewable energy generation, so

Tri-State is currently building a new 70-megawatt wind farm in NE Colorado. But Tri-State still generates about 50 percent of its energy from coal plants.

Tri-State is not a vertically integrated company, while SMPA is a horizontally integrated company and extremely pro net metering.

In the future, Brad is predicting that distributive energy generation could become cheaper that centralized energy distribution.

After the question and answer period will Brad concluded Brad and the committee, especially Dickson Pratt, talked about electric cars such as the Tesla, Leaf, and Volt.

Dudley handed out an article Sara Coulter sent him from the Rocky Mountain Institute on the costs of electric charging stations. The City of Ouray, Mountain Village, and City of Montrose are all currently getting electric charging stations installed.

Dudley also handed out a summary of SB14-186 entitled Efficient Schools and Communities Performance Contracting

Lastly Dudley hit on a few of the Southwestern U.S. highlights from the new 2014 National Climate Assessment Report, which was released today. This report may be found at: You can either download the entire 850 page report or individual sections of the report. The Southwest part of the report is found on pages 462 to 486.


Transition OurWay Energy Committee

Meeting Minutes for Monday, March 10,2014

The meeting was started at 4:15PM.

The committee again reviewed the nine projects that were listed and briefly described in the meeting minutes for the February 27 meeting.

The committee decided to put the Bio Algae Plant Project, the Electric Car Charging Stations Project, and the Energy Expo Project on hold for now.

Dave Jones suggested we also consider helping out the Ridgway High School’s Solar Electric Car Project.  Dave will talk to the shop teacher who advises on the project.

Dave also suggested a Global Warming/Climate Change Project.  It was suggested that this project could be combined with the Conservation/Efficiency Education Project.

And at the last meeting Sara Coulter suggested a project involving the use of Ultraviolet Lights/Ionization Filters in central heating and air conditioning systems.  This project was not discussed at the meeting, as we need Sara to give us some more information on this issue.

So we now have the following potential projects:

1. Conservation/Efficiency Education Project

2. Dallas Ditch Co. Hydroelectric Project

3. Grey Water Usage Project

4. Micro-hydro Electric Project

5. Ridgway Elementary School Positive Energy Committee Project

6. Ridgway High School Solar Electric Car Project

7. Ultraviolet Lights/Ionization Filter Project

However, after a lengthy discussion of how the committee should proceed with these projects it was decided that the committee should educate its members more on local energy issues.  And after more discussion it was decided that at each of the next four-committee meetings we should invite a local organization to speak to us about local energy issues.   After more discussion it was decided to invite the following organizations to speak at the following committee meetings.

1. April – San Miguel Power Association – Brad Zaporski

2. May – Alternative Power Enterprises – Tyler Mize/Juel Lief

3. June – EcoAction Partners – Kim Wheels/Kris Holstrom

4. July – Source Gas – Public Relations Director

Next it was decided to due a Doodle Poll on when to next meet after contacting the San Miguel Power Association to see when Brad might be able to speak to us.

The committee was also in favor of meeting with ROCC Energy Committee Chair, Al Lowande, to discuss the possibility of the two energy committees working together on projects of mutual interest.

The committee will also look into whether or not rain barrels can be used legally to store roof runoff water.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:15pm.


Transition OurWay Energy Committee

Meeting Minutes for Thursday, February 27,2014

The meeting was started at 4:15PM.

The first topic of discussion was which day of the week, times, and places to meet.  It was decided that the meetings would continue to be held from 4 to 6 pm.  However, it was decided to rotate the meetings among members’ homes.  Don Rogers volunteered his house for the next meeting.  It was also decided to move meetings from the fourth Thursday of each month to the second Monday of each month.

The second topic of discussion was who would like to Chair the Energy Committee starting June 1 when Dudley steps down as Energy Committee Chair.  Don Rogers, who is now Vice Chair, volunteered to take the Chair position starting June 1.  It was also decided to seek a Vice Chair at the next committee meeting.

Next Dudley briefly reviewed nine possible Energy Committee Projects namely:

1. Bio algae plant.  Don Rogers had brought up the idea of looking into generating electricity by growing, harvesting, and burning of algae.

2. Conservation/Efficiency Education.  This is a project to educate the public and businesses in Ouray and/or San Miguel Counties on energy conservation and efficiency.   Part of this project could include project four below.

3. Dallas Ditch Co. Hydroelectric plant.  Tim Manzagol has indicated to the committee that the Dallas Ditch Co. will be contacting various local, state, and federal agencies this year on the possibility of placing one or more turbines in water pipes along the Dallas Ditch to generate electricity which can be sold to Ridgway, SMPA, or other entities.

4. EcoAction Partners Green Business Certification Program.  Eco Action Partners has asked the committee to participate in promoting this program of theirs.

5. Electric Car Charging Stations.  Don volunteered to try and talk to someone at the Tesla Car Company about building a charging station in Ouray and/or San Miguel Counties.

6. Energy Expo.  Dudley will talk to SMPA and Alternative Power Enterprises about their interest in running another Energy Expo.

7. Grey Water Usage.  Dudley distributed handouts on Colorado House Bill 13-1044, which concerns the regulation of grey water usage by municipalities and counties.

8. Micro-hydro Electric Plants.  Dudley distributed handouts  on Colorado House Bill 14-1030, which concerns micro-hydro electric plants.

9. Ridgway Elementary School Energy Demonstration.  Don volunteered to contact Krista Javoronok, Fourth Grade teach, to see if the school is running an energy demonstration project this year.

Sara Coulter also suggested a tenth possible project concerning the use of ultra violet lights and ionization filters which create ozone which is potentially hazardous to people with lung problems when used in conjunction with central heating and air conditioning systems in homes.

Next the committee discussed having a member attend the quarterly meetings of the Sneffels Energy Board (formerly called the Southwest San Juan Community Energy Board).  Dudley has been attending these meetings and volunteered to continue doing so until such time as another committee member would volunteer to do so.  Meetings are held in Telluride, Placerville. and Ridgway.

The next committee meeting will be held on Monday, March 10 at Don Roger’s house (620 Sabeta Drive) from 4 to 6 pm.

Meeting was adjourned at 5:45 pm.

Transition OurWay Energy Group


Meeting Agenda for Thursday, February 27

Ridgway Library Conference Room

4 to 6 PM

1.  Discussion of which day of the week, times, and place to meet.  The small conference room at the Ridgway Town Hall will not be available to groups after March 2014.  And a number of people have conflicts on Thursdays at 4PM.  Anyone who has suggestions on this topic should email Dudley before the meeting if you can’t be present at the meeting.

2.  Discussion of who would like to be Chair of the Energy Committee after May 31 since Dudley is stepping down as Chair effective June 1, 2014.  If you are interested in this position but can’t be present at the meeting please email Dudley.

3.  Discussion of possible Energy Committee projects or Expo for 2014.  Again if you can’t be present at the meeting please email Dudley with suggestions for projects.

4.  Need committee member to attend Sneffels Energy Board quarterly meetings

5.  Next meeting date, time & location

Possible 2014 Energy Committee Projects

1.   Bio Plant

2.  Conservation/Efficiency

3.  Dallas Ditch Co. Hydroelectric

4.  EcoAction Partners Green Business Certification Program

5.  Electric Car Charging Stations

6. Energy Expo

7. Grey Water Usage

8.  Micro-hydro Electric

9.  Regional Composting Center

10.  RES Demonstration



San Miguel Power Association:

Alternative-Power Enterprises Company:

Solar Energy: