The Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association achieved many significant victories in 2014, and is grateful for the support of member companies and other allies.
Here are a few highlights:
- Our Solar Power Colorado conference with the theme Solar is the Solution was the biggest ever, with rich content and outstanding exhibits setting the stage for productive networking and business development. 2015 will be even better!
- We succeeded in getting the critical solar policy of net metering considered separately from other issues and worked tirelessly to demonstrate that all ratepayers benefit from rooftop solar systems.
- We worked to keep the Solar Rewards market open through regulatory interruptions and negotiated an ample amount of rooftop solar eligible for incentives that lasted all year.
- The Public Utilities Commission responded to our call for a more stable business environment and approved a Renewable Energy Standard plan that will be in place for the next two years at incentive levels close to our request.
- With allies, we demonstrated overwhelming support for the Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants by testifying at the Environmental Protection Agency public hearings in July, and then submitting detailed written comments.
- We sought to include solar thermal technologies in energy efficiency plans and participated in a regulatory case that requires Xcel to make bigger investments than the utility sought.
- We organized three successful suburban solar events: In Adams County, we highlighted the need for a new solar homes program; in Jefferson County we put a spotlight on community and city-led solar, and in Arapahoe County, we hosted a Salute to Veterans in Solar Energy at Ecotech Institute on Veteran’s Day.
- We continued to expand our Solar Friendly Communities program, partnering with cities to make it faster, easier and more affordable for citizens to go solar. We closed the year with 16 certified cities and counties representing more than 2 million Coloradans. Westminster and Boulder became the first communities to earn the highest designation of platinum level.
- We announced a new public-facing educational effort called Solar CitiSuns, and found it a home. We partnered with the sponsor of the Solar Homes Tour, Golden Earth Days, which now houses the nonprofit Go Solar Colorado.
- We worked to successfully defeat Xcel’s proposed Solar Connect program which we argued would give the monopoly utility an unfair advantage in marketing a retail solar product. The Public Utilities Commission cited many of our arguments in turning down the proposal.