HB 1264: Distributed Generation Bill in CO — Will it Even Make it Out of Committee?

HB12 -1264, introduced by Representative Judy Solano, observes that Colorado’s efforts to incorporate distributed generation (DG) from renewable sources could be improved through the adoption of updated standards for interconnection between customer-generators of DG and the utility-owned distribution networks into which they feed power.

The reasons for moving this fully non-partisan legislation forward at this time are threefold:

1.  Colorado’s advances in energy development through the use of in-state renewable sources have earned the state a grade of “A” for net  metering but only a “B” for interconnection standards;

2.  With only minor revisions, Colorado’s rules for interconnection could move the state to a grade of “A” and allow Colorado’s residents and businesses to reap the potential rewards of

— lower energy costs and greater energy security,

— both short-term and long-term job creation, and

— less dependence on out-of-state and foreign sources of energy through additional distributed generation here in Colorado

3.  The Colorado Public Utilities commission has adopted interconnection standards based on orders of the federal energy regulatory commission dating from 2006. While these standards represent an advance over the prior state of the art, Colorado’s energy development can be further enhanced with updated information derived from more recent experience as outlined in the  recommendations of the interstate renewable energy council. To address this, HB 1264 directs the PUC to work with a task force on DG interconnection issues, to meet during the 2012 interim, and produce an initial report to specified committees of the general assembly concerning ways in which interconnection and related issues could be addressed in order to further facilitate the deployment of DG from renewable sources in Colorado. Specifically, the PUC and task force will  consider rules on interconnection, insurance requirements and transparency, using as a basis the recommended standards developed by the interstate renewable energy council.

HB 1264 would serve to codify best interconnection standards in Colorado; yet it has already been expressed that the bill will likely not even make it out of the House, Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee to which it was assigned.

Educating people and rallying support for this legislation is critical for its success.

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