Decisions by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission 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“Energy storage is a critical part of our clean energy future, and outdated, unsupportive interconnection rules have been an impediment to clean energy growth in Colorado,” said Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s vice president of state and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.