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Harvesting Homegrown Renewable Energy One Step Closer

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union President Kent Peppler praised the Colorado Senate Agriculture Committee for their support of net metering. Today the committee sent House Bill 1160 to the floor. Senators Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont) and Jim Isgar (D-Hesperus) are Senate co-sponsors of the homegrown energy initiative. Rep. Judy Solano (D-Brighton) sponsored the bill in the House, where it passed 63-1 on February 13. HB-1160 will allow Coloradans to support energy independence by generating homegrown energy from wind turbines and rooftop solar panels and getting credit from their power company for generating power.

“Once House Bill 1160 has passed the Senate, Colorado producers’ incentive to adopt renewable energy for use on their farms and ranches will be enhanced,” Peppler, a Mead, Colo., farmer said. “We want to thank Representative Solano and Senators Shaffer and Isgar for their tireless efforts on behalf of this bill.”

HB-1160 supports the development of an emerging renewable energy market in Colorado. It will cover 99 percent of rural electric customers and 91 percent of municipal utility customers. It sets minimum standards for net metering and includes interconnection standards as well. It requires that excess electricity generated on customer property be credited on the customer’s bill and mandates permitting systems of 10kW to 25kW to participate.

HB-1160 replaces the patchwork of rules for connecting and metering individual wind and solar systems with a statewide standard. “The new law,” said Peppler, “strikes a reasonable balance between the economic interests of electricity providers and customer-generators, and it reduces existing barriers to adopting renewable energy. It will benefit all of Colorado.”

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