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National Western Center Campus to Advance Aspirational Regeneration Framework Planning

U.S. Department of Energy and Xcel Energy step up to provide support for the creation of an efficient campus

DENVER – The Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center has been accepted into two energy programs that will help advance the aspirational energy regeneration goals recommended by the National Western Center master plan. Through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy District Accelerator and Xcel Energy’s Partners in Energy, the National Western Center partners will receive support and assistance with development of action plans that are committed to regeneration efforts on the future campus.

“Since the beginning, the National Western Center partners have been committed to an ethic of regeneration,” said Kelly Leid, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center. “Our acceptance into these two top notch programs will help our team create innovative strategies and implementation planning alternatives that will make the National Western Center one of the first of its kind in the country to work towards becoming a fully integrated, net zero campus.”

“The Colorado State University System has a commitment to sustainability — our Fort Collins campus is the first and currently only university in the nation to achieve a platinum sustainability rating — and our role at the National Western Center allows us to extend this commitment to an exceptional new venue,” said Amy Parsons, executive vice chancellor of the CSU System. “We will continue work with our partners to meet National Western Center site net zero goals and to advance the state-of-the-art in sustainability within this urban laboratory.”

The Zero Energy Districts Accelerator is an effort by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that encourages the expansion of zero energy districts. The program benefits include assistance to develop a plan to create a zero energy district, technical assistance from DOE and national labs, recognition nationwide of the National Western Center campus’ commitment to advancing zero energy approaches and technologies, and an exchange to capitalize on lessons learned and accelerate the development of successful strategies with other program participants.

The Partners in Energy program led by Xcel Energy offers participants tools and expertise to support community energy planning. The program will help the National Western Center project team address the challenge of identifying local priorities and creating a structured implementation plan that leverages all resources available.

The National Western Center’s Master Plan includes ambitious goals for regenerative development on the campus that were developed by a volunteer “National Western Center Sustainability Task Force” convened by Colorado State University (CSU). Related to energy, these goals include assessing the feasibility of “net zero energy” via strategies like energy efficiency and renewable energy on the campus, achieving the equivalent of a LEED "Gold" or higher for buildings, maintaining or reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which would contribute to City and County GHG and climate goals, and incorporating educational and interpretive programs that showcase sustainable and regenerative practices and technologies.

The National Western Center project team including members from the City and County of Denver, CSU and the Western Stock Show Association have begun meeting with members of the DOE and Xcel programs. These programs will result in implementation plans that will advance the regeneration goals for the redevelopment of the National Western Center campus.