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GVC³ - What We've Been Up To!

Highlights of What We've Been Working On:  October 2019 - August 2023

Gunnison Valley Climate Crisis Coalition

(Detailed Accomplishments Below)

🌎Helped influence  Tri-State G&T  to lower emissions for half a million Colorado electricity customers by 2030

🌎Helped mandate electrification of all future residential building in Crested Butte

🌎Worked for environmentally sound practices across the valley  

🌎Bringing the community together to protect our climate!

🌎Now working in partnership with Western Colorado University and others to bring composting, a climate change solution, to our valley. 

Want More Information? Complete Accomplishments Below


Accomplishments 10/2019 - 8/2023


GVC³ is a climate change mitigation environmental organization that focuses on promoting, influencing and educating the Gunnison Valley’s efforts to minimize contributions to climate change both inside and outside the valley. We consist of approximately 20 Core Members and nearly 500 supporters who help us curb greenhouse gas emissions. We help promote reducing carbon emissions in local and regional electric utilities, building environmentally sustainable structures, utilizing economically viable technologies, and facilitating local composting etc. to accomplish these goals. Since GVC³‘s inception in 2019, these actions have all been 100% volunteer powered and “money-free”, as we do not ask for donations.


Allied organizations have included Sierra Club, Western Colorado Alliance, Tri-State G&T Reform, Western Resource Advocates and other environmental groups. 


  • Participated both in the multi-entity “Tri-State Reform” bi-monthly meetings and Sierra Club’s “Tri-Harder” monthly meetings. These meetings were essential to collaborating with other organizations also seeking to influence the outcome of Tri-State’s Phase-I 2020 Electric Resource Plan (ERP). The environmental organizations involved included non-profits and other Rural Electric Association (REA) members and board members. This resulted in an uncontested comprehensive settlement agreement amongst stakeholders which was reached on April 18, 2022. This was prior to the ERP going to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for approval.


  • With Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” Unit, GVC³ helped organize, draft, select and ask questions of Tri-State G&T’s CEO Duane Highley at a Zoom Town Hall, February ’21.


  • Attended and commented at monthly Gunnison County Electric Association (GCEA) board meetings, particularly during the Tri-State portions of these meetings.


  • Regular dialog and email exchanges with Tri-State and GCEA board member Mark Daily, lobbying for a greener wholesale power supply from Tri-State. 


  • Before approving Tri-State’s ERP, the (PUC) opened a window of time for public comments. GVC³ sent out requests for our supporters to submit comments. Out of approximately half a million Colorado Tri-State customers, only 100 Coloradoans commented, and a disproportionate 48 of those were from members of GCEA in the Gunnison Valley, one of the smallest REAs serviced by Tri-State. With all of these above actions, GVC3 ultimately contributed to Tri-State’s vastly improved renewable energy portfolio of 50% renewables by 2025 and 70% by 2030. 

To achieve this goal, the PUC is requiring Tri-State’s emissions reductions of 26% in 2025, 36% in 2026, 46% in 2027, and 80% by 2030 (in the State of Colorado) by 2030, relative to 2005. This is in line with the science-based targets determined by the IPCC’s Paris Accord in 2015 to limit warming below 1.5 degrees C of pre-Industrial CO2 levels. These emissions reductions being made by Tri-State have been lauded by climate organizations state-wide.


  • Participated in Tri-State Reform discussions with other activist groups centered on the proposed federal infrastructure bill to economically support rural communities that lose fossil fuel jobs in the greening of Tri-State G&T’s energy portfolio.




  • Participated in GCEA’s Climate Change Coalition quarterly meetings made up of GCEA staff and board members, local government, educators, other environmentally conscious organizations and Vail Resorts.  Due to our persistent reaching out to GCEA, GVC³ was a catalyst for the creation of their own climate organization in June of ‘20.  GCEA’s coalition focuses on building  local renewable energy installations. Some of their clean energy projects are underway and some are on the drawing board. These include Sunshine Park solar garden (formerly Avalanche Park) and XXX.  It also includes discussion of Tri-State’s renewable energy portfolio. GCEA’s clean energy projects work to achieve local generation of renewables are limited by Tri-State to just 7% of GCEA’s energy demand. Thus, combined with Tri-State’s pledge of 70% renewables by 2030, when GCEA builds its allowed 7% renewable energy installations, ultimately GCEA member/customers will be receiving 72% clean electric energy at the end of this decade.


  • Regular participation in GCEA board meetings


  • Attended and commented at the GCEA Annual Meetings, June ’21 and ’22.


  • Signed-up approximately 50+ GCEA member/customers to lease electric power from GCEA’s solar gardens. We also successfully promoted the sign-up of 45 members who are on the waiting list for a total of 146 solar panels.


  • Nominated Darcie Perkins as a candidate for the GCEA board. Darcie now sits on the board of GCEA, speaking up for the importance of renewable energy.


  • Initiated GCEA’s economic evaluation and analysis of a Tri-State buyout/partial buyout. Conclusion to date:  Tri-State can likely provide our electricity more economically than GCEA could on its own. Our efforts now will be to promote even greater percentages of clean energy within Tri-State’s portfolio. 


  • Scheduled our annual Climate March and Rally concurrently with GCEA’s “Brats and Kilowatts” event. This enabled our reaching out to GCEA members and promoting the purchase of the electric appliances and using GCEA’s rebates to do so. 




  • GVC³ worked with Sustainable Development Solutions Group (SDSG) on the evaluation of MEAN’s 2022 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and, with other environmental groups, recommended replacing coal with renewables. Urged MEAN to be far more inclusive of its members' comments during their IRP public comment period.


  • Engaged with SDSG to review and comment on the MEAN IRP with the goal to transform their energy from a fossil fuel dominated portfolio to a more sustainable, resilient, and economic renewable portfolio. If this were accomplished, not only the City of Gunnison but all of MEAN’s 60+ member towns and cities could participate in cleaner electricity.


  • In April of 2022, GVC³ reached out to all of its Supporters and Core Members to send public commentary to MEAN on their 2022 IRP.  We generated 27% of all public comments from its 60+ member municipalities, urging MEAN to more aggressively add renewables and begin to retire their interest in their coal plants.




  • We organized and moderated a Zoom meeting with Colorado State Senator Kerry Donovan to promote passing HB 1131 which provides for electric co-op transparency in governance with its consumers/members. This law would include Tri-State. HB 1131 passed in April of 2021. 


  • Promoted Colorado Senate Bill SB200 & House Bill HB1266 during the legislative session in 2021. HB1266 dealt with the State of Colorado’s science-based climate goals (26% reduction by 2025 and 50% reduction by 2030). SB200 dealt with Environmental Justice regarding Disproportionately Impacted Communities and ultimately passed in ‘21 as a combination of elements of SB200 and HB1266 due to the threat of veto by Governor Jared Polis.  


  • Members participated in the Citizen’s Lobby at the Colorado State Capitol on March 7, 2022.  Lobbied the state legislature on several environmental bills that were introduced to state senators and representatives, including a green hydrogen study bill.


  • At two public hearings in Crested Butte, GVC3 recommended adopting the 2021 IECC building code with an all-electric strengthening amendment for new residential builds. We also wrote letters to the editor. This helped to influence a new town ordinance and code that will now require the electrification of new homes in the town of Crested Butte. The town of Crested Butte is now the first municipality in the State of Colorado to require new residential construction to utilize electrical energy to heat and provide power to new homes with no natural gas connections.


  • Submitted formal comments encouraging the adoption of the 2021 Building and Energy Conservation Codes and electrification of new builds at the public hearing in the City of Gunnison. Urged the Gunnison City Council to adopt an ordinance requiring the electrification of new residential construction.


  • Submitted formal comments during the Whetstone Project Sketch Plan Meeting in Gunnison supporting passive solar orientation when feasible and all electric heating in the form of ground source and air source heat pumps.


  • Advised, recommended, and incentivized the Crested Butte Nordic Center staff and board of directors to completely electrify its new addition, The Outpost, and major components of existing structures and additionally, utilize sustainable construction practices.


  • GVC³ advised the Gunnison Watershed School District superintendent and school board president to use high efficiency HVAC systems that were included in their 2022 bond issue which passed in November of 2022. 


  • Advised the Gunnison Library’s executive director on the use of ground source heat pumps to provide space heat of the new Gunnison Library. A ground source heat pump is now providing the space heat for the new Gunnison library.


  • GVC³ urged the town council of Mt Crested Butte to electrify the development of its proposed 700-unit North Village expansion with a letter and comments at a town council meeting.



  • Annual Climate March and Rallies in ‘19, ‘21 & ’22 in Crested Butte


  • Initiated the “Climate Kids”, a youth climate change club at the Crested Butte Community School. An article about the club appeared in the winter ‘22/’23 Crested Butte magazine and in the Crested Butte News 2/23.



  • Collaborated with Sue Wyman and Gunnison Gardens with an expo on composting on 6/14/22. 


  • Supported with SDSG (Sustainable Development Strategies Group) and helped Sue Wallace write a grant to the Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley for a pilot composting project in Crested Butte South. 


  • Currently working with 2 Western Colorado University Master of Environmental Management (MEM) interns on compost Initiatives – 600 hrs each. The first intern is working on an immediate-term small-scale multi-neighborhood composting and community education implementation project. The second intern is working on a large-scale, long-term valley-wide municipal composting planning project.


TRI-STATE G&T - Tri-State Generation & Transmission -

PUC - Colorado Public Utilities Commission

GCEA - Gunnison County Electric Association

MEAN - Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska


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