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Governor Jared Polis signs law to modernize Colorado community solar, launching new era in clean energy access

The governor’s signing of Senate Bill 24-207 revitalizes the state’s community solar program and removes barriers to access, ensuring more residents and small businesses can benefit from clean energy

Denver, CO — Colorado launched a new era in clean energy today with Gov. Jared Polis’ signature of SB24-207 — bipartisan legislation that will modernize the state’s long-standing community solar program and stand up a new dispatchable distributed generation program, enabling Colorado to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding to upgrade the power grid, lower energy bills, and promote energy equity.

“All Coloradans, regardless of income level or homeownership status, should be able to participate in the transition to renewable energy,” said Senate President Steve Fenberg, sponsor of SB24-207. “With the signing of this bill, we have taken a major step to remove barriers to accessing solar energy — like homeownership or credit score requirements — to ensure renters, non-profits, and small businesses can take part without breaking the bank. With unprecedented federal funding opportunities through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, now is the perfect time to revitalize Colorado’s community solar program and ensure our state remains a leader in renewable, clean energy use.”

In April, the EPA’s Solar for All program awarded the Colorado Energy Office a $156 million grant to provide loans and incentives for community solar development, including directly funding community solar projects in the state, helping to deliver lower utility bills, create jobs, and expand the benefits of solar to low-income and disadvantaged communities.

“Colorado led the nation in 2010 when it became the first state to pass legislation truly enabling a third party community solar program model,” said Kevin Cray, Mountain West Senior Director, CCSA.It was time for an upgrade. Today’s action by Gov. Polis will reinvigorate Colorado community solar, positioning the state to regain its leadership position in providing equitable clean energy options for customers. We are grateful for Gov. Polis’ leadership on this vital issue and applaud the bipartisan support this legislation received.”

The new law will modernize Colorado’s community solar program by building upon what has worked well in more than 20 other states. Among the specific benefits, the new law will:

  • Deliver meaningful bill savings of 25-55% to thousands of additional income-qualified Colorado households;
  • Reserve at least 51% of each community solar project for income-qualified residential subscribers;
  • Enhance subscriber experiences with best-in-class enrollment methods, consumer protections, and consolidated billing;
  • Prioritize projects sited on preferred locations, like rooftops and brownfields, and drive dual-use practices, such as agrivoltaics; and
  • Improve the methods that third-party stakeholders use to develop community solar projects with investor-owned utilities.

“This law is a reflection of the state’s ongoing commitment to ensure an equitable clean energy transition and to leverage local energy resources to create a cost-effective and resilient grid,” said John Bernhardt, Vice President of Policy for Pivot Energy. “As a Colorado-based company, we are proud of our state’s leadership and stand ready to help realize the goals of SB 24-207.”

Organizations and advocates from across Colorado applaud the bill’s signage into law, optimistic for the opportunity it presents alongside federal funding opportunities.


“SB24-207 represents a significant step towards a more inclusive and sustainable future for Colorado. By prioritizing community solar and implementing measures to reduce barriers for income-qualified individuals, this legislation sets a new standard for equitable energy access. We applaud the governor and legislature for their commitment to bringing communities along in the energy transition,” said Yara Marin, Interior West Regional Director for Vote Solar.

“The Nature Conservancy in Colorado is proud to support ‘Access to Distributed Generation,’ which will accelerate an equitable, conservation-aligned clean energy buildout. By expanding opportunities to deploy projects onto the built environment and ensuring financial cost-savings of new projects flow to low-income Coloradans, this legislation will minimize clean energy infrastructure impacts on natural lands while maximizing benefits for Colorado residents,” said Chris Menges, Director of Climate Action at the Nature Conservancy.

“As a non-partisan, multi-racial, multi-faith community organization here in Colorado, Together Colorado is proud to be a supporter of SB24-207, the Inclusive Community Solar Bill, and we’re very pleased that Gov. Polis has signed it into law,” said Tom Abood, Leader with Together Colorado’s Climate Justice Committee. “All Coloradans should benefit from clean energy projects that keep our air clean and reduce our utility bills and this bill will help those communities most targeted by polluters and who in the past have not had access to clean, renewable energy. We look forward to the successful implementation of this law to help all Coloradoans benefit from clean energy and support Colorado to achieve its renewable energy goals. Our collective faith traditions teach us to care for our planet, and care for the most vulnerable among us and this legislation does both!”

“The Colorado Solar and Storage Association (COSSA) is excited to see a new dispatchable distributed generation program added to the grid as a result of this bill. This first-in-the-nation program encourages investment in 50 megawatts of solar and storage per year, which will provide additional resilience for communities, help defray long-term transmission costs, and provide Colorado’s utilities with increased flexibility,” said Ellen Howard Kutzer, General Counsel at COSSA.

“The passage of this bill is a step towards greater solar access for LMI households. The resulting community solar program will reduce the barriers for income-qualified households to receive the benefits of solar energy and participate in the state’s energy transition with the highest guaranteed bill credit discounts in the country,” said Daniel Pontón Aronoff, Interior West Policy Manager at GRID Alternatives.

“The passage of SB24-207 is a crucial progression towards developing Colorado’s clean energy future, while ensuring that all Coloradans, no matter their income level, can participate in and benefit from the transition to renewable energy. As Colorado wisely takes advantage of federal funding opportunities, the rejuvenation of the community solar program creates options to lower energy bills, create jobs, and promote energy equity across the state,” said Joe Antus, Executive Director at Signal Tech Coalition.

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