Colorado Policy

Colorado Legislative & Regulatory Policy

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COSSA’s 2022 Policy Accomplishments

  • Worked with both Black Hills and Xcel Energy to design the state’s first-ever off-site net metering offering (Black Hills Advice Letter, Xcel’s 2022-25 RES Plan);
  • Designed and secured approval for a pay-for-performance battery pilot and associated software platform (Xcel’s 2022-25 RES Plan; Xcel’s Distribution System Plan);
  • Defeated stringent labor ratio requirements that would have slowed solar installations and increased project costs (2022 legislation);
  • Negotiated revised CSG program requirements, ensuring high bar application standards that support project viability (Xcel’s 2022-25 RES Plan);
  • Negotiated higher capacity values for standalone storage, fair contract provisions, and reasonable modeling assumption in two large-scale renewable energy solicitations (Tri-State 2020 ERP; Xcel’s 2021 ERP);
  • Defeated Xcel’s attempt to own and operate behind-the-meter solar and storage assets for C&I customers (Xcel’s Resiliency Service Program); 
  • Worked with Xcel to design a time-of-use rate pilot for large C&I customers (Xcel’s SG-TOU Pilot);
  • Called attention to transmission constraints in the San Luis Valley, prompting the Commission to open an investigation (Xcel’s Power Pathway; SLV Transmission Investigation);
  • Presented industry’s frustrations with Xcel’s interconnection problems, web portal deficiencies, and smart meter delays to the Commission, prompting action and Commissioner involvement (Interconnection Investigation; Xcel’s Distribution System Plan; PUC Staff Petition for Declaratory Order); 
  • Led a coalition to advance virtual net metering for multi-unit properties, securing rules for master meter operators and paving the way for individually metered arrangements (Multi-Unit Building NEM Rulemaking); and
  • Worked with multiple counties to improve their 1041 land use process for solar and energy storage developers. To help more jurisdictions, COSSA issued a  Principles and Best Practices for Colorado’s Local Governments guide.

Policy Work Ahead in 2023

  • Spearhead legislation to prepare investor-owned utilities’ electric distribution systems for DER adoption and electrification while not overinvesting in gas infrastructure;
  • Secure funding in 2023 for SolarAPP, the automated solar permitting review process developed by the National Renewable Energy Lab;
  • Advocate for independent power producer interests as two utilities proceed with large acquisitions of renewable energy in phase II competitive solicitations;
  • Ensure state law and new net metering legislation is implemented fairly and accurately as the state revises Renewable Energy Standard regulation;
  • Support transparent rate design in the upcoming Xcel phase II rate case that sends accurate price signals to customers and sets appropriate time-of-use peak windows;
  • Advocate for reasonable interconnection and curtailment practices for community solar gardens in an anticipated 2023 rulemaking;
  • Ensure Xcel’s 2022-25 Renewable Energy Standard Compliance Plan is implemented in the spirit of the settlement agreement, including a sound pay-for-performance battery pilot, a first-ever off-site net metering offering, and solar garden programmatic changes;
  • Establish common sense rules for individually metered multi-unit net metering;
  • Advocate for industry as the Public Utilities Commission undertakes a review of the Renewable Energy Standard Adjustment rider; and
  • Represent COSSA member interests in numerous stakeholder events anticipated for 2023, including flexible interconnection standards, curtailment policies, and pilot implementation and evaluation.

Help us help you

All this advocacy work takes time and money.  Please help us defend and further your interests before the legislature and the Public Utilities Commission.  

See Stefanie Bednar for membership opportunities.

See Cathy Boies to learn more about our policy committees.  

Key Solar and Storage State Laws

  • HB21-1284: Fair Permitting Act Update
  • SB21-261: PUC Encourage Renewable Distributed Generation
  • HB19-1003: Community Solar Gardens Modernization Act
  • SB19-236: Sunset Public Utilities Commission
  • HB19-1261: Climate Action Plan to Reduce Pollution
  • SB13-252: Renewable Energy Standard Retail Wholesale Methane
  • HB11-1199: Fair Permit Act
  • HB10-1342: Community Solar Gardens
  • HB10-1001: Renewable Energy Standard 30% by 2020
  • SB09-51: Renewable Energy Financing Act (Net metering and 3rd party financing)
  • HB07-1281: Renewable Energy Standard for Co-op Utilities