LETTER: State PUC should implement community solar standard offer

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EDITOR: Access to renewable energy is vital to our state’s climate and economy. Community solar is one of the only ways many households can participate in renewable energy, as it is available to anyone regardless of whether they own their home or have a rooftop that is suitable for solar panels. We should therefore increase access to community solar immediately.

I ask that the PUC implement last year’s draft rules, and increase the standard offer community solar program to up to 3% of regulated utilities’ electricity, allowing subscribers to choose whether they keep the Renewable Energy Credits earned by their subscriptions.

We know that community solar is an economic driver — and expediting a decision that would not only make renewable energy accessible by up to 100,000 homes, but deliver significant economic investment in our state, seems only prudent during this time of economic strife.

Along with access to community solar comes access to the RECs that are generated by each subscription. Requiring the monopoly utilities to keep these credits without regard for the needs or wants of the subscribers themselves is unfair. In last year’s bi-partisan Community Solar Gardens Modernization Act, the legislators put it in your hands to decide how RECs are handled. And yet you have delayed that decision until 2022 at the earliest. I respectfully ask that you immediately allow the subscribers, who through their subscriptions are paying to generate the RECs, to determine for themselves whether they want to keep them or sell them to the utility. This harms no one; it simply puts choice back in the hands of Colorado consumers.

We cannot wait until 2022 to generate more renewable energy, so I urge you to implement the community solar standard offer immediately.

— Tyler Joyce, via [email protected]