Colorado House lawmaker Chris Hansen, a Democrat, introduced legislation on Jan. 4 that would increase the maximum size of community solar gardens to 10 megawatts, up from 2 megawatts permitted by current law. The bill would broaden access to community projects, which offers consumers the opportunity to participate in solar installations through subscriptions, by allowing customers from any county across a utility’s service territory. Currently, the program is limited to subscribers from same county or a county adjacent to where the project is located. (HB19-1003)
The state’s renewable energy goal calls for investor-owned utilities to source 30 percent of energy supplies from renewables by 2020, with 3 percent of their retail sales coming from distributed generation by 2020. Last year, the state enacted a law to boost residential battery installations and adopted rules for incorporating storage procurement into utility planning processes. Regulators also approved Xcel Energy Inc., the state’s largest utility, to advance an ambitious renewable energy plan that calls for more than 2 gigawatts of solar, wind, and battery storage.