Diversification crossed with innovation


Cluster overview

Along with our respect for nature’s part in the Colorado lifestyle, we also respect the diverse energy sources it provides. Renewable energy assets like wind and solar and fossil fuels like oil and natural gas are plentiful here. They are tied together by a commitment to balance, responsibility, and innovation. Colorado focuses on the future of energy while ensuring affordable and safe options exist today and tomorrow. Colorado was the first state to pass a voter-approved renewable energy standard and innovation has stepped up to meet the challenge. We have world-class research facilities and educational institutions like the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that partner with the private sector. The collaborative environment has created, for lack of better term, energy. These partnerships transform research and innovation into commercial viability. Colorado’s highly-educated talent specializing in tech and science is well-aligned to our energy transformation. People are what powers innovation, and we have developed technologies that make “all of the above” energy exploration and production more effective and affordable. Companies are working on new grid and storage technology to continue reducing the cost of renewable energy. And utility companies like Xcel Energy are offering more customer choices than ever with some of the largest energy efficiency and renewable energy portfolios in the nation.


Energy feeds Colorado’s economy with about 150,000 employees and $11.4 billion every year


Talent and employment

Both cleantech and fossil fuels have seen employment growth in Colorado especially as new technology companies have come into the space and the renewable energy sector has grown.


Direct companies in Colorado (2017)

(Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., Hoovers Online Database)


5-year cleantech employment growth in Colorado (2012-2017)

(Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., Hoovers Online Database)


Cleantech direct employment concentration in CO vs. U.S. (2017)

(Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., Hoovers Online Database)


Colorado cleantech direct employment rank in the U.S. (2017)

(Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., Hoovers Online Database)

Clean energy

Xcel Energy leads the pack towards a carbon-free future

Aurora Economic Development Council member Xcel Energy has a service territory that includes much of Colorado including all of Aurora. The investor-owned utility is a leader in setting a vision for a carbon-free future. It’s gone above Colorado’s renewable energy mandates, reducing carbon by 44% in 2019, promising 80% reductions by 2030, and 100% carbon-free generation by 2050. It was the first electricity provider in the U.S. to set this ambitious goal. And it’s hitting the mark without compromising affordability or reliability for all its customers.

Aurora’s solar innovation hub

SolarTAC facilities, photo courtesy of SolarTAC

The 74-acre SolarTAC (technology acceleration center) is the largest test facility for solar technologies (photovoltaic and concentrated solar power technologies) in the United States.  It provides a venue for research, demonstration, testing, and validation of a broad range of solar technologies at the early commercial or near-commercial stage of development.  SolarTAC includes common areas for performance validation testing of new solar energy system components, including areas for proprietary testing by its member companies.  

SolarTAC supports testing for: