- Colorado Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper signed legislation on Friday to encourage the installation of energy storage in the state and to integrate storage procurement mechanisms into utilities' long-term planning processes.
- House Bill 18-1270, also known as the "Energy Storage Procurement Act," sets a deadline of Feb. 1, 2019, for the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to develop procurement rules. Utilities will be able to file applications for rate-based projects by May 1, though they cannot exceed 15 MW.
- This is the second energy storage bill Colorado lawmakers have passed this year. In March, Hickenlooper signed a measure that focused on consumer-installed storage.
Less than three months after signing a law aimed at growing the residential storage market, Hickenlooper has now done the same for utility-owned systems, reflecting growing interest in the resource on both sides of the meter. The measure drew praise from storage stakeholders, particularly because it will make the technology a part of utilities' planning processes
Colorado's legislature "has made it clear that storage must be considered as an option for cost-effective electric service," the Energy Storage Association (ESA) said in a statement.
Energy storage is a "central catalyst to modernize and create a more reliable, resilient, efficient and affordable grid," ESA said.
The law also directs the PUC to "create conditions" where the procurement of energy storage would help address peak demand issues, improve reliability and stave off other investments. It requires the commission to create rules that ensure "any storage system project added to the electric grid will not compromise the security, safety, or reliability of the electric grid or any part of the grid."
The process developed by the PUC must also not interfere with any competitive bidding, resource acquisition or ongoing proceedings, the law states.
The previous storage bill directed the PUC to adopt rules governing the installation, interconnection and use of customer-sited energy storage systems, setting some parameters for interconnection reviews.