April 28, 2017

Radio Golden Episode #9: Status of Golden’s Sustainability Initiative, Chaos on Clear Creek, and More

One of the Radio Golden studios, this one in South Golden.

The ninth episode of the Radio Golden podcast is ready for the listening. You can listen to it on the Radio Golden website or grab it (for free!) from iTunes. If you like the convenience of new episodes automatically downloading (which I love), you can even subscribe to Radio Golden on iTunes.

We had a great time on this show, recording outside with a great view of South Table Mountain and enjoying an energetic conversation about the challenges along the Clear Creek Corridor this summer and a great chat with two members of Golden’s Sustainability Advisory Board.

And thanks to Debbie Johnson & Brian Q. of Re-Assurance Real Estate for becoming Radio Golden’s very first sponsor!

Radio Golden #7: Councilor Bill Fisher, Keller property development, East Downtown plan, and more

Listen to (or download) Radio Golden Episode #7.
Curious about how City Council is doing so far this year? Want to know how City Council and staff are getting along? Been wondering about renewable energy, creating jobs in Golden, GURA, or downtown development? Council Fisher covered all of this ground and more today on Radio Golden. We also spent some time exploring the implications of the proposed Keller property development and the status of the East Downtown plan.

The Great Golden Business Tour: MV Systems

An example of an MV Systems thin film production unit.


Another angle. Each of the chambers is an ultra high vacuum (which I think is required for doing thin film deposition).


Here you can see a manufacturing process taking place inside one of the vacuum chambers.


Ok, so this one is a bit on the belated side – I visited these folks while I was still mayor last July – but it’s still very cool. I won’t pretend to really understand what they do, but here’s my take: MV Systems builds machines for manufacturing cutting-edge thin film products (“thin film deposition systems”) using a series of extremely high vacuum chambers. You can get a sense of this from my photos. Steve Glueck (the city’s Planning and Development Director) and I visited their facility back in July right here in Golden.

And, by the way, MV Systems received the “Entrepreneur of the Year” Mayor’s Award for Excellence, and they seem to be doing really well on the business side of things, as well. I remember seeing a news release late last year about new orders for their solar cell manufacturing systems from Mexico and Europe.

One of the coolest things about serving as mayor was having the opportunity to visit so many of Golden’s amazing cool manufacturing companies and other primary employers, from nuclear waste filter manufacturers to high-end mountain bike companies to the next-gen ceramic body armor factory. I don’t expect that I’ll be doing as many of these visits in my post-mayor life, but I’ll continue to support and promote them, and I’ll continue to be a champion for Golden as a hub of exceptionally cool companies building extraordinarily innovative products.

Golden Sustainability Awards 2010: Woody's, Golden Real Estate, and More

Last week the City of Golden’s Sustainability Advisory Board announced the winners of the 2010 Sustainability Awards, which we presented on Thursday night at the City Council meeting. The awards offer a great way to highlight folks in the community doing great things as well as underscoring just how compatible doing the right thing can be with saving money and business success.

The winners:

  • Lloyd Athern and Povy Atchison – Individual Award for a garage restoration that is both historic and sustainable and numerous other sustainable elements of their East Street neighborhood home.
  • Woody’s Wood-Fired Pizza – Business Award for its photovoltaic system, recycling efforts, and other sustainability features.
  • ABC Car Wash – Business Award for their water conservation and water quality efforts.
  • Golden Real Estate – Business Award for their solar photovoltaic installation, energy efficiency improvements, and other efforts.
  • Robbie the first grader – Student Award for selling reusable cloth napkins to raise money to feed hungry Colorado children.
  • Institute for Environmental Solutions – Community Group Award for their Contaminants of Emerging Concern program, educating and reducing the impacts of household contaminants into our waterways.

Golden Sustainability Awards 2010: Woody’s, Golden Real Estate, and More

Last week the City of Golden’s Sustainability Advisory Board announced the winners of the 2010 Sustainability Awards, which we presented on Thursday night at the City Council meeting. The awards offer a great way to highlight folks in the community doing great things as well as underscoring just how compatible doing the right thing can be with saving money and business success.

The winners:

  • Lloyd Athern and Povy Atchison – Individual Award for a garage restoration that is both historic and sustainable and numerous other sustainable elements of their East Street neighborhood home.
  • Woody’s Wood-Fired Pizza – Business Award for its photovoltaic system, recycling efforts, and other sustainability features.
  • ABC Car Wash – Business Award for their water conservation and water quality efforts.
  • Golden Real Estate – Business Award for their solar photovoltaic installation, energy efficiency improvements, and other efforts.
  • Robbie the first grader – Student Award for selling reusable cloth napkins to raise money to feed hungry Colorado children.
  • Institute for Environmental Solutions – Community Group Award for their Contaminants of Emerging Concern program, educating and reducing the impacts of household contaminants into our waterways.

Golden and NREL Featured on CNN (Sat. at 1pm)

Three two Golden residents (including Barb Warden, who runs the terrific Golden.com web site) are featured in the story, which is running as part of the regular news cycle but unpredictably. We do think it’ll be part of the In Focus show, which is scheduled to run Saturday at 1 p.m. You can also watch the segment on the CNN web site.

Golden's Largest Solar Installation: 1,890,000 kWh This Summer

Golden has a new solar installation on the way, the largest in the city, at the MIE Corporate Center on W. Colfax. When finished later this summer, it will produce 1,890,000 kilowatt hours from 8,100 photovoltaic panels across 17 buildings. A Golden family-run business, Howard Electric, is doing the installation.

Golden’s Largest Solar Installation: 1,890,000 kWh This Summer

Golden has a new solar installation on the way, the largest in the city, at the MIE Corporate Center on W. Colfax. When finished later this summer, it will produce 1,890,000 kilowatt hours from 8,100 photovoltaic panels across 17 buildings. A Golden family-run business, Howard Electric, is doing the installation.

Solar Permit Fees Waived Until May 31

Don’t forget . . . the city’s waiver of permit fees for new solar panels ends on May 31, so if you are thinking about installing photovoltaic on your home this might be the perfect time to do it. A typical residential installation in Golden is a 4.5 kilowatt system. The average cost after Xcel energy rebates seems to be about $12,000, and the city’s waived fees will save you about a year on your payback.

Solar panel installation (Wayne National Forest Creative Commons photo).

PMC Hydraulics: A Key Vestas Wind Turbines Supplier

City Councilor Bob Vermuelen, Chris Ball (the chair of our Economic Development Commission), the city’s Planning and Development Director Steve Glueck, and I spent some time visiting with two Golden-area employers on Friday.  Our first stop (which I wrote about in the previous blog post) was Yeti Cycles.  Our second stop on Friday’s Golden business tour was PMC Hydraulics, a new Golden employer in the Coors Technology Business Park manufacturing hydraulic components for the Denver region’s new Vestas wind turbine factory.  PMC is part of a large Danish company that manufactures hydraulic components for a wide range of industries.  They are in the process now of building out their manufacturing space, which we had a chance to tour.  The components themselves are pretty slick, playing critical roles like managing the degree of tilt of the turbine blades (requiring an extraordinary amount of hydraulic pressure, as you can imagine, given the force of the wind and the weight of the blades).  It’s a pretty slick system, how they are laying out the manufacturing lines and the diagnostics/testing stations, but even more impressive is the just-in-time logistics and operations management.  Vestas expects a very specific, very steady production rate, with very little inventory on hand, and their suppliers – like PMC – have to meet those expectations, along with extremely high quality and failure standards.  Here’s one photo, and if you are interested you’ll find a few more of the PMC facility on my Facebook page as well.  The Denver Post also ran a nice story about the new facility.

The PMC manufacturing space, with some of the layout established and a few key instruments installed. It will be fun to see the facility after its build out and running at full capacity.

Like all of the primary employers I’ve been able to visit over the past year or two, both Yeti Cycles and PMC provide good jobs for Golden and regional residents and both make significant contributions to the city’s tax base. Yeti helps maintain Golden’s position as a key mountain biking destination and PMC helps do the same with Golden’s reputation as a center of renewable energy technology. And they both also help draw significant numbers of visitors to Golden, helping to sustain our hotels and restaurants.

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