Landmark Community Solar Bill Passes in Colorado

  • June 1, 2024
  • Uncategorized
  • Minute Read

New legislation aimed at revitalizing Colorado’s community solar program has successfully passed both state chambers and is now on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature. Bill SB24-207, introduced by a bipartisan coalition led by Senate President Steve Fenberg, marks a critical advancement not only for Colorado but also for the broader realm of community solar initiatives nationwide.

Expanding Access to the Clean Energy Transition

The recently passed bill aims to greatly increase access to solar energy, addressing long-standing barriers that have prevented many Colorado residents from reaping the benefits of solar power. Obstacles such as home ownership requirements and credit score restrictions have historically limited participation by residential customers. For many small businesses, non-profits and community organizations, upfront investment has been a significant hurdle.

The new legislation aims to dismantle these barriers, opening the doors for a wider demographic to participate in the solar energy transition. Community solar projects, which allow multiple participants to share the benefits of a single solar array, are particularly beneficial for renters, non-profits, small businesses, and low-to-moderate income customers who have previously been excluded from direct solar benefits.

Setting the Standard for Community Solar

Colorado was the first state in the nation to pass community solar legislation back in 2010, but has since fallen behind others that have adopted more modern and effective program designs. Bill SB24-207 incorporates best practices from these forward-thinking states, creating a robust set of policies designed to positively impact millions of residents while promoting environmental sustainability.

Legislation like Colorado’s SB 24-207 is about more than just expanding the presence of solar energy. It’s about empowering communities to take control of their energy futures and ensuring equitable access to the cost savings and energy security associated with solar energy. Community solar is the ideal vehicle for achieving these objectives.

Bill SB 24-207 positions Colorado to capture substantial federal funding to upgrade the state’s energy grid and invest in the expansion of clean energy infrastructure via the federal government’s Inflation Reduction Act. The economic implications are significant: Colorado will be positioned to emerge as a hub for renewable energy innovation, which will spur job creation and economic growth by incentivizing investment in solar technology.

Furthermore, in an era marked by political divisiveness, this legislation is a testament to the power of bipartisan cooperation. Colorado’s leaders have set aside their differences to prioritize the common good, demonstrating a commitment to collaborative governance that should serve as a model for the nation.

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