By Denver Business Journal

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, who leaves office next week, will become director of a new ⿿Center for the New Energy Economy⿝ at Colorado State University, he announced Wednesday.

Ritter made the development of alternative energy resources and companies a hallmark of his four years in office.

Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper, Denverâ¿¿s mayor, will be sworn in as Coloradoâ¿¿s new governor on Jan. 11.

Ritterâ¿¿s new center will be part of the Fort Collins universityâ¿¿s School of Global Environmental Sustainability. Effective Feb. 1, Ritter will assume the title of senior scholar within the school.

Ritter said he planned to live in Denver but commute to Fort Collins and spend a ⿿significant⿝ amount of time at CSU. He said he expects to lecture and teach a class in addition to his duties as center director.

Ritter said funding for the center and his position will come from private sources: the San Francisco-based Energy Foundation; the Fort Collins-based Bohemian Foundation, founded in 2001 by Fort Collins heiress and Democratic Party supporter Pat Stryker; and other donors.

The 2010 Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans ranked Stryker No. 308, with an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion.

The Energy Foundation works on advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy, according to its website. It has several donors, including the ClimateWorks Foundation, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Ritter said heâ¿¿s talked to The Energy Foundation about a senior fellow position, as well as to local and national law firm about jobs. CSU President Tony Frank emailed him a few months ago about joining the university and creating a new center.

⿿Education and energy are my highest passions, and this combines that with my desire for a clean-energy agenda,⿝ Ritter said during a Wednesday news conference.