The Colorado House today took a major step forward to expand clean wind and solar energy to all of Colorado by passing SB 252 on a 37 to 27 vote. The legislation increases the renewable energy standard for Tristate Generation and Transmission and the rural electric cooperatives to 20% by 2020, expands opportunities for the production of local homegrown energy, and encourages the generation of energy from other alternative sources.
“We congratulate our Colorado Representatives and Senators who have championed nation leading legislation to expand clean wind and solar energy to all of Colorado. With the House passing SB 252, Colorado is once again at the forefront of diversifying our energy sources and encouraging investment in clean and innovative energy to power our future,” said Pete Maysmith, Executive Director, Conservation Colorado. “This legislation will protect Colorado consumers by preventing price spikes on their electricity bills; and give more Coloradans access to clean wind and solar energy. By taking advantage of our abundant sunshine and persistent winds, we can generate cleaner energy to reduce air pollution, improve public health, and do our part to tackle climate change for future generations.”
SB-252 also marks a significant increase in Colorado’s commitment to small scale, homegrown renewable energy such as rooftop solar and community wind farms. It includes innovative provisions to capture climate damaging methane gas from coal mines and the generation of power from municipal solid waste.
“The cost of generating electricity from solar in rural Colorado continues to decrease rapidly, while the cost to generate electricity from fossil fuels continues to increase, and Colorado utilities are burdening Colorado ratepayers with the higher costs of fossil fuels in the form of annual and substantial rate increases,” said Lou Villaire, co-owner Atlasta Solar in Grand Junction, CO.
“Rural Coloradans have already voted, and we have voted for more solar. Requiring Colorado Rural Electric Co-ops to generate more electricity from solar at a minimal cost is not a hardship but rather an opportunity to increase jobs, reduce pollution, and lower electricity bills over the long-term for rural Colorado ratepayers. Increasing Colorado’s renewable energy standards for rural electric co-ops offers rural Coloradans what they want: more solar, less pollution, more energy security and diversity, and more rural Colorado jobs.”
SB 252 now moves on to the Senate for a concurrence vote.