Under Colorado's renewable energy standard, qualifying retail utilities are required to obtain a portion of their energy from renewable sources, including customer-sited facilities such as rooftop solar panels. Recent legislation allowed customers who wished to install such facilities, but whose property was not well suited to that purpose, to buy into a centrally located facility with other customers (subscribers). This arrangement is known as a community solar garden or CSG.
The existing CSG statute requires a subscriber to live in the same county as the CSG unless the subscriber lives in a county with a population of less than 20,000, in which case the CSG may be in an adjacent county that also has a population of less than 20,000. The bill deletes these population requirements. It also increases the minimum number of subscribers in a CSG from the current minimum of 10 to at least 25 for installations larger than 500 kilowatts. Provisions governing a utility's recovery of costs attributable to operation of a CSG are amended to more precisely define the types of costs for which recovery is allowed and the methods by which they may be recovered.