Solar Bills Package Signed by Polis Part of Effort to “Democratize” Renewable Energy
The Governor signed seven clean energy bills into law last week. One measure could help people who can't install solar panels, either because they rent or can't afford it, by allowing them to invest in community solar gardens. KDNK spoke with David Amster-Olszewski, CEO of Sunshare, about leveling the solar panel playing field.
Among the seven clean energy-related bills signed by Gov. Jared Polis on May 30 were ones that seek to reduce pollution and increase energy and water efficiency standards for new appliances. But the one that got the most attention was House Bill-1003, or the Community Solar Gardens Modernization Act.
We see plenty of solar panel arrays on rooftops and in fields. But according to the organization Sunshare, about 75 percent of Colorado homes are not suitable for rooftop panels. That number is even higher when low and moderate income households are taken into account.
Community solar gardens aim to change that, in the same way community gardens allow people to invest in local agriculture without having to plant their own gardens.
Community solar has become more popular in recent years; 20 other states have adopted similar legislation as Colorado. And Polis has made it his goal to have Colorado go 100 percent renewable energy by 2040. According to David Amster-Olszewski, CEO of Sunshare, the Community Solar Gardens Modernization Act will provide all households with access to renewable energy. It erases size and location restrictions on gardens and expands them in rural areas.
“Community solar represents the best of what is happening in Colorado's clean energy economy and (the) signing of the act is a huge win for the entire state of Colorado,” said Amster-Olszewski in a statement.