Community and Other News

Sept 1st, 2023

Mountain Parks Electric Inc. Press Release For Immediate Distribution 

August 2023 

Area collaboration earns $100,000 grant to plan school bus electrification 

GRANBY, CO – Sustainable Grand, Mountain Parks Electric, Inc. (MPE) and the East Grand School District were recently awarded a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) for their collaborative “Sun to Bus to Grid” project.  

The project aims to build upon the East Grand School District recently being awarded two EPA grants for electric school buses, according to Todd Budin, executive director of Sustainable Grand, an organization that works to advance energy efficiency, electrification and clean energy in Grand County, Colorado.  

“Since our current grid power supplier uses mostly fossil fuels, we would like to power those buses with a large solar array on the bus barn. This ensures we’re not continuing to create greenhouse gases to power those buses,” said Budin. 

The bus batteries will also be used as virtual power plants during the grid’s peak demand periods, which reduces the need for natural gas and saves MPE on expensive peak demand charges.  

Budin said they also hope to explore how the “batteries on wheels” could be dispatched for disaster response. He referenced the 2020 East Troublesome Wildfire in which electric lines were damaged. “Our response personnel could really have used a large battery to power a mobile micro-grid,” he said.  

This is a two-phase grant, with the first $100,000 prize winners challenged to develop partnership and financing strategies to support efforts in rural communities to improve their energy systems and advance clean energy demonstration projects. Of the 160 nationwide applicants for the first phase of the grant, 67 were awarded. The Granby collaboration was only one of four in Colorado to earn the grant funds, and the project team intends to use the funds to work with a consultant to model the energy usage of an electric fleet, as well as the solar and vehicle-to-grid interaction. 

For winners selected in the second phase of the grant, $200,000 will be awarded for project implementation.  

This project is just one example of how MPE continues to build on its history of collaborating with non-profits and other entities throughout its service area in Grand and Jackson counties.  

“We are really excited to be a part of this team and learn about the vehicle-to-grid capabilities, as well as the demand response opportunities that the electric school buses provide,” said MPE Power Use Advisor Chris Michalowski.  

 MPE is also a member of the Beneficial Electrification League (BEL), which works with hundreds of electric cooperatives and municipal utilities across the country.  

“Mountain Parks’ early adoption of an electric school bus served as an example to people of how electric school buses work exceptionally well in snow and on mountainous terrain. Now, with this vehicle-to-grid project, we look forward to sharing the results to help scale this exciting technology,” said BEL President Keith Dennis.  

OCED grant application reviewers agreed that the key concepts behind this project could have broad implications.  

“Reviewers also felt that this was a very innovative concept. If it works, it could see widespread replication, and an interesting concept with a well thought out plan,” said the summary provided by OCED.  


April 11th, 2023

Sky Hi News article about the East Troublesome rebuild program that we're managing.   Thanks for spreading the word. 

March 6th, 2023

The Colorado Energy Office rebate program for rebuilding East Troublesome sustainably, has officially launched.   Visit the program web page for more information. 

February 9th, 2023

At the Feb 9th Mountain Parks Electric board meeting, Sustainable Grand made 2 requests for community funding opportunities:

Both requests were approved and so we're working quickly to put these funds to use. 

January 25th, 2023

At Maverick's Bar and Grill, the Colorado Energy Office held a builder feedback session for their upcoming East Troublesome rebate program.  About 16 members of the building community attended and the feedback was great. Thanks to Camber Brewing for provider the drinks.