Under Colorado's renewable energy standard, by the year 2020, cooperative electric associations and municipally owned electric utilities will be required to obtain at least 10% and, in the case of a large cooperative serving 100,000 or more customers, 20% of the electricity they sell at retail from renewable sources. Renewable sources include "retail distributed generation", defined as a renewable energy resource located on the site of the customer's facilities and interconnected on the customer's side of the meter. Rooftop solar panels are the most common form of retail distributed generation.
The bill allows these utilities to count each kilowatt-hour of electricity obtained through retail distributed generation as 3 kilowatt-hours for purposes of meeting the 2020 standard. In addition, the bill allows cooperative electric associations to use purchases from community solar gardens to meet the retail distributed generation component of the renewable energy standard.