Solar Gardens Growing: House Approves Hansen-Valdez Community Solar Gardens Bill

(Apr. 1) – The House approved the Community Solar Gardens bill sponsored by Rep. Chris Hansen, D-Denver, and Rep. Alex Valdez, D-Denver. This bill modifies Colorado’s community solar garden program by increasing the maximum size of these facilities as well as eliminating burdensome regulations restricting their location.

“All citizens should have access to, a direct ownership in, and a direct stake in our clean energy future,” said Rep. Hansen. “Only 25 percent of homes in Colorado are able to put solar panels on their roofs. This bill enables more Coloradans to purchase share in a community solar garden, thereby reducing their carbon emissions and pollution and fostering the creation of good paying jobs all across our state, particularly in rural Colorado.”

HB19-1003 will take Colorado’s community solar garden program to the next stage of development by increasing the maximum size of a community solar garden from 2 megawatts to 5 megawatts. It also removes the requirement that a community solar gardens subscriber’s identified physical location be in the same county as that solar garden while keeping the requirement that it be within the service territory of the same electric utility.

“We must act on climate and do our part to encourage a greater use of creative renewable energy sources like community solar gardens,” said Rep. Alex Valdez, D-Denver. “This bill  allows people whose property can’t accommodate the use of solar gardens to still have a hand in our energy future, especially low-and moderate-income Coloradans.”

HB19-1003 was approved on a vote of 40-23. It now heads to the Senate.

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