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Landmark Regional Electricity Grid and Transmission Bill Passes Colorado Legislature

Posted by Cayli Baker on Jun 3, 2021

Colorado House passed bipartisan Senate Bill 72, calling for a multi-state regionally interconnected electricity market to improve grid resilience, reliability, and reduce customers’ energy costs.

DENVER, June 3, 2021 — Today, national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) applauded passage of Senate Bill 72* (SB 21-072) by the Colorado House on a strong bipartisan 49-15 vote. SB 72 enables critical investments in the electricity infrastructure needed to reliably transport clean energy across the state and region, and requires state utilities to join a regional transmission organization (RTO) by 2030. Having passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 28-6 in April, SB 72 heads to the Governor’s desk. 

“The significant bipartisan support for this legislation throughout the process is a testament to the bill’s strong economic and environmental benefits for all Coloradans, rural and urban,” said Emilie Olson, Principal at Advanced Energy Economy. “We especially want to thank Senators Chris Hansen and Don Coram, and Representatives Alex Valdez and Marc Catlin, for their tremendous leadership in bringing this timely legislation forward.”

“This bill will make long overdue upgrades to electric transmission planning and put Colorado on competitive footing to reap the full benefits of a regionally integrated energy system, including improved grid reliability and resilience, and lower costs for customers,” said Olson. “SB 72 is a win-win for energy security, economic growth, and a modernized electricity system aligned with the state’s ambitious advanced energy and economy-wide decarbonization goals. Joining an RTO, combined with steady transmission investment, will keep innovation, economic development, and affordability at the heart of the state’s energy transition.”

Throughout the legislative session, AEE engaged the General Assembly alongside more than 20 businesses and organizations in support of the bill.

“We thank the coalition of electric co-ops, environmental conservation organizations, renewable energy businesses, cleantech associations, and corporate energy buyers for their support and shared recognition that this legislation is in the best interests of ratepayers and workers, and is the right path forward for Colorado to cement its regional leadership on advanced energy,” said Olson.  “By passing SB 72 this session, Colorado is well positioned to help drive the conversation around stronger regional coordination, as other states in the West contemplate their next move. AEE looks forward to continuing to work with policymakers to ensure this legislation is implemented as intended to give Western ratepayers the best possible outcomes from a regionally-integrated electricity grid.”

Background Materials

*Note: AEE offers free, complimentary access to its PowerSuite online platform tracking all federal and state energy legislation and regulatory filings, plus RTO/ISO policy action, to credentialed media. Sign up for a free trial and contact Monique Hanis (mhanis@aee.net) for permanent media access.

 

Topics: Press Releases