Colorado Rule Requires Consideration of Energy Storage into Utility Planning

Governor John Hickenlooper signed the Energy Storage Procurement Act on June 18, 2018 which required the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to establish a rule which established “mechanisms for the procurement of energy storage systems” as part of the utilities’ planning processes.

The PUC’s initial proposed rule was limited to planning under a utility’s electric resource plan (ERP), which concerns electric generation procurement. This prompted the lead sponsors of the bill, along with clean energy groups such as Solar Energy Industries Association, Western Resource Advocates, and the Energy Storage Association to argue that the original intent of the Act was to include energy storage in all utility planning processes (generation, transmission, and distribution).

The PUC’s final decision recognized the original intent of the Act, stating that it found the language required consideration for energy storage systems in planning processes, not just the ERP process. The PUC stated that it does not currently treat all electric facilities alike from a planning and procurement perspective and therefore had to make various revisions to multiple Rules Regulating Electric Utilities.

The PUC made no reference to whether these rules would be amended or revised as part of the larger overall rule change that the PUC is developing (see Decision No. C17-0878, issued October 26, 2017, Proceeding No. 17M-0694E).

read more about the decision here

submitted by:  Kevin Watson, Cleantech Law Partners Energy Lawyer

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