Colorado: New Bill to Expand Access to Solar, Wind, and Other Clean Energy

Governor Signs Renewable Energy Expansion Bill Increasing Wind, Solar & Other Renewables

Energy Vortex, July 11, 2013

Western Resource Advocates and Conservation Colorado joined other state and local leaders in applauding the final approval of legislation that expands access to solar, wind, and other clean energy for rural Colorado. In a ceremony at the State Capitol, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law Senate Bill 252, “Setting Renewable Energy Standards for Rural Colorado,” which increases the renewable energy standard (RES) for co-operative associations that provide wholesale electricity in Colorado, and for large electric associations that provide service to at least 100,000 meters. The bill expands the RES to 20% (from 10%) by 2020, while capping retail cost increases at 2%.

“This is an important step for Colorado’s burgeoning renewable energy industry that will benefit families and economies across the state,” said John Nielsen, Energy Program Director for Western Resource Advocates. “Along with the news that Xcel Energy is dramatically increasing its wind portfolio in Colorado, this is an exciting time from renewable energy in the state. Renewables are not only important for clean air and clean water, but more and more people are recognizing that wind, solar, and other resources are a strong economic investment as well.” Senate Bill 252, sponsored by Senate President John Morse and House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, among others, will create new jobs and protect the health of Colorado families by encouraging cleaner energy production and the capture of damaging greenhouse gasses such as methane. The bill expands access to solar, wind and other clean energy for rural Colorado at a time when major renewable investments are being made across the region. Last week, for example, Xcel Energy asked state regulators for permission to boost its wind power capacity by 25% in Colorado.

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