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Colorado legislature passes crucial bill advancing renewable energy siting, helping state meet ambitious decarbonization goals

May 9, 2024

DENVER – Yesterday, Colorado passed a key bill that takes a first step toward expediting the deployment of clean energy infrastructure, which is essential for driving the state toward its ambitious decarbonization targets. 

“Colorado is a national leader in reducing climate pollution from transportation, industry, oil and gas, and electricity, but challenges remain for meeting the scale of new clean energy projects needed for a fully decarbonized economy,” said Jeremy Tarr, Director of U.S. State Policy at Clean Air Task Force (CATF). “This bill shows that Colorado lawmakers understand the importance of this issue, and it tees up the state for enacting comprehensive clean energy siting reform in the future.” 

Sponsored by Senate President Steve Fenberg, Senator Chris Hansen, Representative Kyle Brown, and Representative Karen McCormick, the bill takes multiple important steps to promote coordination among state and local stakeholders. It requires the Colorado Energy and Carbon Management Commission to provide technical assistance to local and tribal governments in formulating codes for renewable energy projects and evaluating proposed projects. Additionally, it directs the Colorado Energy Office to create a repository of model codes and ordinances for renewable energy projects. The bill also requires the Colorado Energy Office to evaluate and report on local government permitting of renewable energy projects, as well as the potential for community benefits, wildlife habitat mitigation, and project decommissioning agreements. 

“Utility-scale wind, solar, and battery projects are indispensable for reducing emissions from Colorado’s grid, especially as the state has committed to sourcing 80% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and achieving a fully decarbonized economy by 2050,” said Nelson Falkenburg, Clean Energy Siting Associate at CATF. “Direct engagement with communities coupled with state-level technical assistance is critical to mitigating common hurdles to clean energy siting. This bill makes progress on both fronts, while paving the way for future reforms.”  

As a member of the Energy Siting Coalition, which includes Conservation Colorado, The Nature Conservancy, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Western Resource Advocates, and Audubon Rockies, CATF played a key role in developing policy frameworks and supporting the legislation’s advancement. According to a recent report commissioned by CATF and partner organizations, increasing permitting efficiency, limiting uncertainty in permitting decisions, and robust engagement with communities are all essential for facilitating renewable project deployment.   

On May 3, 2024, Falkenburg testified before Colorado’s House committee on Transportation, Housing and Local Government in support of Senate Bill 24-212. His testimony emphasized the beneficial elements of the bill and CATF’s commitment to continued collaboration with key stakeholders on clean energy siting.   

Contacto con la prensa

Samantha Sadowski, Directora de Comunicación, Estados Unidos,, +1 202-440-1717

Acerca de Clean Air Task Force 

Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With more than 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world. Visit and follow @cleanaircatf.

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