Make your technology greener at these Steamboat events this Earth Day |

Make your technology greener at these Steamboat events this Earth Day

Loveland-based Lightning eMotors that makes zero-emission electric shuttle buses and cargo vans will be part of the EV Shuttle Ride and Drive set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, at Howelsen Hill Rodeo Grounds parking lot in Steamboat Springs.
Lightning eMotors/Courtesy photo

Yampa Valley residents can celebrate the 53rd annual Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, with conscientious steps to conserve resources and protect the natural beauty of Northwest Colorado.

Yet, this spring also offers multiple local opportunities to learn more about technologies that can help increase renewable energy and the adoption of electric vehicles and reduce air pollution.

Learning about and utilizing technology solutions, which involve financial investment, is apropos since this year’s theme for Earth Day from international organizer is “Invest in Our Planet.”

“For Earth Day 2023, we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly) and implement (equitably),” according to “Businesses, governments and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet.”

To show the latest technology in zero-emission electric vehicles for fleet cargo or passenger vans, an EV Shuttle Ride and Drive is set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, at the Howelsen Hill Rodeo Grounds parking lot in Steamboat Springs.

The event hosted by Steamboat Springs and nonprofit Yampa Valley Sustainability Council will showcase a ZEV4 shuttle bus from Loveland-based Lightning eMotors. Drives and rides will be available, and lunch will be provided for those who RSVP at

The Routt County Planning Department is hosting a Routt County Solar Summit on Wednesday, April 26, for residents to learn about proposed new utility-scale solar developments in the Yampa Valley, especially in the Hayden area. The informational event will be from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Hayden Public Library. Organizers, including the Colorado Solar and Storage Association, say existing Xcel Energy transmission lines, plus recent requests for renewable proposals by Xcel, drew interest from various clean energy developers. image

Electric vehicles including SUVs, pickups and cars from makers such as Jeep, Rivian, Tesla, Chevy, Ford and Nissan will be onhand for drives or rides during Steamboat’s next EV Ride n-Drive set for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. May 7, at Howelsen Hill Rodeo Grounds parking lot. Attendees who want to test drive electric vehicles are asked to sign up in advance for specific time slots at

Conner Byrnes with the sustainability council said some of the more interesting models at the May 7 event include a Jeep Rubicon 4xE plug-in hybrid as well as a Rivian all-electric pickup and Rivian SUV. Local owners of EVs are helping to educate at the event thought the sustainability council’s Electric Vehicle Ambassadors volunteer program.

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Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, now director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, will be in Steamboat for a Geothermal Gathering starting at 6 p.m. May 17 at Bud Werner Memorial Library Hall. The goal of the event, cohosted by Colorado Energy Office and the sustainability council, is to provide education on geothermal energy including ground source heat pumps and community geothermal heat pump systems plus to address questions about geothermal energy use in the Yampa Valley.

Paul Bony, Yampa Valley Sustainability Council energy and transportation director and recent appointee to the Colorado Geothermal Energy Advisory Group, said the event is meant to “create interest in expanding geothermal energy as a climate and resilience strategy supporting the Routt County Climate Action Plan.” photo

The state is pushing forward for greater utilization of geothermal resources with technological, policy and funding advancements, according to the Colorado Energy Office.

City and sustainability council organizers of a lunchtime seminar on May 18 hope to draw property and lodging managers, interested residents and homeowner association representations to learn how to navigate electric vehicle charger installations and grant funding options for multi-family units and lodging properties. The workshop is 12:30-1:30 p.m. May 18 at Centennial Hall in Steamboat.

Adding to the technical assistance available locally, recent funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture has reduced the cost of a small business energy assessment to help business owners save money on energy bills. While the fee is typically about $1,500, the reduced cost assessments start at $375 for businesses up to 10,000 square feet. The Energy Smart Colorado small business energy audit includes an evaluation of a building’s performance in energy efficiency, comfort, health and safety conducted by a certified building analyst. More information is available online at

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