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Legislative Year: 2024 Change
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Bill Detail: SB24-218

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Title Modernize Energy Distribution Systems
Status Governor Signed (05/22/2024)
Bill Subjects
  • Energy
House Sponsors M. Duran (D)
K. Brown (D)
Senate Sponsors C. Hansen (D)
S. Fenberg (D)
House Committee Finance
Senate Committee Finance
Date Introduced 04/24/2024
Summary

The bill requires the office of future of work to create a grant
program, in coordination with the Colorado energy office, for lineworker
apprenticeship programs (grant program). In connection with the grant
program, the office of future of work must create a competitive
application process and select apprenticeship programs that meet certain
training and matching requirements. On July 1, 2024, the state treasurer
must transfer $800,000 from the general fund to the Colorado lineworker
apprenticeship grant program cash fund, which is created in the bill, for
the purposes of the grant program.
The bill also requires an investor-owned electric utility that serves
500,000 customers or more in the state (qualifying retail utility) to
upgrade the qualifying retail utility's distribution systems as necessary to
support the:
  • Achievement of the state's beneficial and transportation
electrification and decarbonization goals; and
  • Implementation of federal, state, regional, and local air
quality and decarbonization targets, standards, plans, and
regulations (decarbonization targets and standards).
In connection with these goals and decarbonization targets and
standards, a qualifying retail utility is required to:
  • Commence a data collection process to inform future
energization timelines;
  • Adopt certain cost caps;
  • Propose to the public utilities commission (commission)
the use of an optional flexible interconnection or
energization tariff or phased interconnection or
energization agreement by a customer as an alternative to
system upgrades that would otherwise be required for
interconnection or energization; and
  • Establish a procedure for customers with a hybrid facility
to complete the interconnection and energization process
through a single application.
A qualifying retail utility is required to identify interconnection
and load hosting capacity for distributed energy resources for
disproportionately impacted communities within its service territory.
Prior to the establishment of the grid modernization adjustment
clause, a qualifying retail utility shall recover forecasted investments
placed into service and costs incurred for certain capital investment and
operations and maintenance expenses (distribution activities) for a period
of time ending on December 31, 2025. Recovery of the costs associated
with the distribution activities must occur through the transmission cost
adjustment clause or another existing adjustment clause, subject to certain
conditions.
Current law requires certain utilities to file a distribution system
plan (plan) with the commission. The bill also requires the plans of a
qualifying retail utility to create sufficient hosting capacity across its
electrical distribution system to support the implementation of the
decarbonization targets and standards and certain other laws, rules, plans,
and policies.
In developing a plan, a qualifying retail utility must consult with
and provide compensated opportunities to disproportionately impacted
communities.
As part of a plan proceeding, a qualifying retail utility is required
to present at least 2 future planning scenarios with corresponding
investments to show future different states of the distribution system. In
evaluating a qualifying retail utility's plans, the commission must evaluate
whether the plan satisfies certain criteria. In addition, the plan must
include a performance-based framework, which must consist of certain
specified components.
A qualifying retail utility must include in the qualifying retail
utility's plan an analysis of current and future qualified staffing levels
necessary to comply with state laws regarding distribution system
planning (adequate staffing levels). The commission must review whether
each qualifying retail utility's plan has adequate staffing levels before the
qualifying retail utility's plan may proceed.
A qualifying retail utility must ensure that, in any projects
undertaken to implement a plan, all labor is performed by the employees
of the qualifying retail utility or by a contractor that meets certain labor
requirements.
The commission must open a rule-making to consider and establish
rules regarding energization timelines; interconnection; interconnection,
energization, and electrification of end uses; and maximum individual
cost caps or fees.
Subject to commission review and approval, a qualifying retail
utility is required to recover certain projected costs related to distribution
activities as part of the qualifying retail utility's plans. If the commission
finds that the distribution activities benefit or advance the decarbonization
targets and standards or state energy policy goals, recovery of the costs
must occur through the grid modernization adjustment clause. For
distribution system activities that do not benefit or advance the
decarbonization targets and standards or state energy policy goals,
recovery of the costs may occur through the grid modernization
adjustment clause if the qualifying retail utility meets the criteria
established in the performance-based framework in the qualifying retail
utility's approved plan. A qualifying retail utility is required to make an
annual grid modernization adjustment clause advice letter filing with the
commission no later than November 1 of each year with an effective date
of January 1 of the subsequent year.
No later than February 1, 2025, a qualifying retail utility is
required to create and file with the commission an application to
implement a virtual power plant program, including a tariff for
performance-based compensation for a qualified virtual power plant. The
virtual power plant program and tariff must include and implement
certain requirements. A qualifying retail utility may apply to recover
certain business costs to facilitate a virtual power plant program through
the grid modernization adjustment clause.
By January 1, 2025, a qualifying retail utility is required to file a
plan with the commission to implement programs for the undergrounding
of utility distribution infrastructure (undergrounding) in nonfranchised
areas in the state using 1% of an area's gross electric revenues from the
prior year. A qualifying retail utility must also consider the public benefit
of undergrounding in its plans.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (05/04/2024) (most recent)  
Additional Bill Documents Bill Documents
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  • Past fiscal notes
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