Colorado Voters Approve Renewable Energy Requirement

December 17, 2004

Photo of wind turbine with sun behind it.

Rated at 162 MW, the Colorado Green Wind Farm near Lamar is the largest wind power plant in Colorado.
Credit: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Colorado voters approved a ballot initiative on November 2 that requires the state's largest utilities to draw on renewable energy for 10% of their power needs by 2015. The measure is the first voter-approved statewide renewable energy requirement in the United States, and is a clear indicator of public support for renewable energy. Read the full text of the initiative (PDF 24 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

The measure also requires solar power to provide 4% of the renewable energy; half the solar power must be located at customers' facilities. To encourage their customers to install solar power, the utilities must offer a rebate of $2/Watt for systems as large as 100 kW, and must allow the customers' solar power generation to earn credit against their power use. This concept is known as net metering.

The initiative requires the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to initiate a rulemaking process before April 1 and have the new rules in place a year later. For details see Environment Colorado's November 2 press release.

Source: November 10 edition of EERE News.