The act creates the microgrids for community resilience grant program (grant program) to be administered by the division of local government (division) in the department of local affairs (department), in collaboration with the Colorado resiliency office in the division and the Colorado energy office. A cooperative electric association or a municipally owned utility (utility) may apply to the division for a grant award to finance the purchase of microgrid resources in eligible rural communities within the utility's service territory that are at significant risk of experiencing severe weather or natural disaster events and in which one or more community anchor institutions, which institutions are important community, educational, health care, or other institutions, are located. The microgrids, which can be connected to or be disconnected from, and work independent of, the utility's electric grid, can increase an eligible rural community's ability to avoid or remediate interruptions to the electric grid, such as those caused by severe weather or natural disaster events.
On an annual basis commencing in 2023, the division is required to:
- Report on the progress of the grant program, including information on the number of grants awarded and the amount of money awarded for each grant;
- Submit copies of the report to the house of representatives energy and environment committee and the senate transportation and energy committee, or their successor committees; and
- Publish the report on the department's website.
For state fiscal year 2022-23, the bill appropriates from the general fund:
- $3,500,000 to the department for use by the division for implementation of the grant program; and
- $20,713 to the office of the governor for use by the Colorado energy office for grant program administration.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)