Colorado Makes it Easier to Connect Solar + Storage Projects to the Grid
Friday, May 21 2021
DENVER and WASHINGTON, D.C. — Decisions by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission earlier this week will make it faster and easier to connect solar + storage systems to the grid. The decisions primarily adopt recommendations by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Colorado Solar and Storage Association (COSSA).
In the joint request, SEIA and COSSA asked the PUC to reevaluate interconnection rules that had resulted in unnecessary confusion for solar + storage customers in Colorado. The decisions help to drive deployment innovation and provide much needed transparency and predictability for customers and solar installers across Colorado.
“Energy storage is a critical part of our clean energy future, and outdated, unsupportive interconnection rules have been an impediment to clean energy growth in Colorado,” said Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s vice president of state and regulatory affairs. “These decisions will clear up years of uncertainty and reduce the amount of time it takes for solar + storage customers to connect to the grid. We commend the Commission for prioritizing customer needs and making decisions that will benefit the local solar + storage market for years to come.”
"The interconnection proceeding lasted over two years and many stakeholders worked hard to modernize Colorado’s electrical grid,” said Mike Kruger, COSSA’s president and CEO. “We believe that the final result will ensure that customers have a clear path to installing more solar and energy storage, especially if the PUC approves incentives for deployment.”
Colorado gets nearly 4% of its electricity from solar energy and more than 6,700 Coloradans have a solar career. Opening the market to include more storage could lead to innovation, even more job creation, help with grid resilience and add billions of dollars of private investment to the state.
The PUC decisions will:
- Maintain flexibility for solar + storage customers so they can use a variety of solar + storage configurations, helping to preserve customer choice and retain options for solar installers;
- Allow solar + storage customers to draw from their solar energy system or from the grid and empower them to use the stored energy whenever and however they want; and
- Clarify interconnection rules, make it easier for residential and commercial solar + storage projects to qualify for fast-track processing and hold utilities accountable for sticking to interconnection deadlines.
The Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA) is leading the transformation to a clean energy economy, creating the framework for solar to achieve 20% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies and other strategic partners to fight for policies that create jobs in every community and shape fair market rules that promote competition and the growth of reliable, low-cost solar power. Founded in 1974, SEIA is the national trade association for the solar and solar + storage industries, building a comprehensive vision for the Solar+ Decade through research, education and advocacy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org and follow @SEIA on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Established in 1989, the Colorado Solar and Storage Association [formerly the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA)] is the award-winning nonprofit association leading Colorado’s solar and storage industries. COSSA represents and leads a wide range of solar and energy storage-related businesses including manufacturers, distributors, dealers, installers, integrators, engineers, financiers, developers, utilities, entrepreneurs, educators, and others. COSSA is governed by an sixteen-member Board of Directors that oversees the organization’s strategic priorities, budget and bylaws.
Jen Bristol, SEIA's Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 556-2886