Honduran President Manuel Zelaya toured Colorado State University’s renewable energy and hydroelectric programs Monday as part of a mission to seek U.S. business and educational opportunities for possible investment or partnerships in renewable energy companies, projects and research.
CSU is the only Colorado university Zelaya and his staff, including his foreign minister and energy advisor, visited on this trip. Fort Collins Mayor Doug Hutchinson and other city and economic development officials also hosted a private reception for the consortium at New Belgium Brewing Co. on Monday.
Other agencies assisting the delegation were the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
The CSU tour included a visit to the Engines and Energy Laboratory for presentations on renewable energy research on turning algae into biodiesel, creating cleaner burning cookstoves for the developing world and Smart Grid technology. The lab and its spinoff companies – Envirofit International and Solix Biofuels – are global leaders in reducing carbon dioxide emissions in ways that also improve human health and pay for the solutions through energy savings.
Zelaya and his party, including representatives of the government-owned electric company, Empresa Nacional de Energia Electrica, also toured the hydroelectric facilities at the Engineering Research Center on the Foothills campus. CSU officials shared information on the university’s unique Supercluster model that is taking innovations more quickly to the commercial marketplace in clean energy as well as in infectious disease and cancer research.