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Today, members of the solar industry sent a letter sent a letter to Governor Hickenlooper expressing our disappointment that the legislature failed to secure funding for the Colorado Energy Office. The Colorado Energy Office plays and important role in the state’s energy ecosystem. The office is an important convener and serves as a mediator of different view points. Its programs serve as important incubators to encourage nascent technologies and new business models.
It is our hope that Governor Hickenlooper is able to find a way to secure funding for the Colorado Energy Office. The solar industry stands ready to assist in this effort.
Our full letter is available here: COSEIA Letter on Energy Office 5-12
The Public Utilities Commission written order approving Xcel Energy’s Electric Resource Plan, issued April 28, contains important precedents that acknowledge the real costs of climate change in Colorado. The long-range planning document will guide Xcel in making future resource decisions. COSEIA believes it is very significant that the PUC majority agreed with us, and others, that Xcel must model the “social costs’’ of carbon when planning on what future energy resources to acquire.
While advocates have been arguing for years that broader impacts from carbon pollution need to be considered in resource planning, this is the clearest direction yet provided that the PUC can use its discretion to consider such costs. Thus, conditions such as health impacts, fires, drought, flooding, extreme heat, tourism impacts and more need to be considered in making resource decisions.
Additionally, the PUC agreed with COSEIA on another key point: that Xcel must model different levels of discounting the future costs of fossil fuels. In addition to the long-standing 6.78% discount figure used by Xcel, the utility now must model both a 3% and 0% scenario. We believe this will more accurately allow decision makers to evaluate the costs of fossil fuels compared to renewables because the higher rate unfairly discounted the future cost of fossils.
We believe these two important parts of the decision mark important progress in Colorado toward more accurately accounting for the costs and benefits of renewable energy as compared to fossil energy.
COSEIA has just filed testimony to the Public Utilities Commission on an important Xcel docket that governs Xcel’s advance grid infrastructure including “smart” meters and the communication components that will transmit data from customers to Xcel and back again. Use, protection and ownership of the data produced by new grid and meter technology is a hot issue in many states right now. While utilities tend to want to control that data, consumers and solar companies could benefit in important way from access to it, developing new products and services and improving their products and services.
COSEIA believes that the PUC should approve the docket, but adopt a series of requirements that would enhance customers’ ability to benefit from the modernized grid.
COSEIA Executive Director Rebecca Cantwell published an Op Ed piece in Solar Industry Magazine (January 2017) describing her experiences negotiating a complex settlement agreement with Xcel Energy last year. The settlement resolved issues in three major Xcel filings in 2016. We republish it here for your convenience:
“As executive director of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association, I spent much of my summer in corporate conference rooms at the headquarters of Xcel Energy, the utility serving about 60% of Colorado’s population. We had embarked on the most complex energy negotiations in state history and eventually reached a landmark settlement between Xcel and nearly two dozen organizations covering scores of issues, including many affecting solar energy.
Gov. John Hickenlooper has announced the appointment of Jeff Ackermann – executive director of the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) – and Wendy Moser of the telecommunications company Charter Communications to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). Ackermann will serve as chairman of the PUC. Both appointments are effective Jan. 9, 2017. See the Story
Denver, CO, January 04, 2017 — Solar Power Colorado 2017 is shaping up as an invaluable exploration of the growing role of solar energy in a changing political landscape. While solar energy continues its record-breaking growth nationally and in Colorado, the sector faces major uncertainties as the new political order takes shape in Washington D.C., and the conference will be one of the first major professional gatherings of the year to examine what lies ahead.
We thought you might be interested in this article from High Country News:
“During his final semester at Delta High School, on Colorado’s Western Slope, Zac Carter enrolled in a new course called Introduction to Photovoltaics, where he could learn the basics of the solar industry. Some of Carter’s family works in the energy industry, and he’s always been interested in electricity. This year, though, he’s watched close family friends struggle to find jobs after being laid off by the nearby West Elk coal mine. By the time he turned 18, he knew a future in fossil fuels wasn’t viable.” See the story
Denver, CO, November 9, 2016 — The three-member Colorado Public Utilities Commission on November 9, 2017 gave oral approval to a landmark settlement between Xcel Energy and two dozen organizations that will provide progress on energy policy for years to come. The Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA), which played a key role last summer in negotiating the settlement across three separate dockets, praised the unanimous decision.
The Colorado Solar Community
invites you to a fundraiser for the Solar Advocates Education Fund, that is crucial to the health of the solar industry.
When: Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 – 6-9pm
Where: The Home of Roger Freeman
1225 Cody Street, Lakewood, CO 80215
We are pleased to let you know that key issues that will affect the Colorado solar market for years to come will be resolved through a landmark settlement filed August 15 by Xcel Energy along with COSEIA and two dozen other organizations. Our intense summer-long negotiations will resolve scores of issues raised by three different major proceedings filed by the utility.
Solar system owners, installers, public policy advocates and a large contingent of people from the new Denver office of SunRun all turned out June 9th for a hearing at the Public Utilities Commission on what is potentially the most significant PUC filing in Xcel Energy’s “Our Energy Future” initiative.
With the theme, “Developing New Markets: Solar Leads the Energy Transition,” Solar Power Colorado 2016 – which ran from March 7 to 9 in Broomfield, CO brought more than 550 attendees together to help chart the role of solar in transitioning Colorado’s energy paradigm.
COSEIA believes the future of our energy supply and our utility system is too important to leave in only the hands of Colorado’s biggest utility, Xcel Energy. The company launched a major energy policy initiative in early 2016 called “Our Energy Future,’ which includes numerous dockets filed at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission in addition to a massive public relations campaign. COSEIA is mobilizing a public response to make sure Coloradans have a say. Read more
Solar companies encountered a host of problems some termed “devastating” while trying to reserve their projects through Xcel Energy’s online Solar Rewards system during the month of April 2016.
The state of Colorado is launching an exciting new program to make it easier to finance solar installations on commercial properties. The statewide commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program will allow property owners the opportunity to spread project costs over a term of up to 20 years, and repay them through an assessment on their property tax bill, with no upfront capital outlay. Read more
COSEIA is launching a new community of citizens committed to building a clean energy economy. While polls show overwhelming public support for more solar energy, attacks continue from special interests threatened by our technology. Our new initiative is called Solar CitSuns and it’s designed to harness the public commitment to solar energy. Read more
Colorado solar leaders commended the August decision by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to leave net metering policy unchanged, calling it a “fair outcome” for the state’s consumers, utilities and solar industry.
The Colorado Electrical Board on March 23 granted COSEIA’s request for a delay in enforcing a new code requirement to include rapid disconnect equipment with PV systems. The board agreed to a new compliance deadline of August 1, 2015. We hope that home rule jurisdictions will follow the state’s lead on postponing enforcement. Read more
From the Denver Post:
One of the most fertile grounds for solar panels in the U.S. looks to be big cities, where by the end of 2014 about 1,300 megawatts were installed — enough to power 250,000 homes.
A study on urban solar by the Frontier Group and Environment America found while cities have 0.1 percent of the country’s land, they are home to 6.5 percent of the nation’s photovoltaic solar panels. Read more
Phone: (303) 333-7342
1536 Wynkoop Street, Suite 104
Denver, Colorado 80202 (Map)