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SB22-118

Encourage Geothermal Energy Use

Concerning the encouragement of the use of geothermal energy by providing similar treatment to solar energy, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Session:
2022 Regular Session
Subjects:
Energy
Local Government
Bill Summary

The bill modifies the following statutory provisions that apply to solar energy so that they also apply to geothermal energy: which generally is using the heat of the earth to generate electricity or to heat or cool space or water:

  • Section 1 of the bill requires the Colorado energy office (office) to develop basic consumer education and guidance about leased or purchased geothermal or, if available, leased installation in consultation with industries that offer these options to consumers of a system that uses geothermal energy for water heating or space heating or cooling in a single building or for space heating for more than one building through a pipeline network;
  • Sections 2, 6, and 8 limit the aggregate of all charges or other related or associated fees the state, a county, or a municipality may impose or assess to install a geothermal energy system, which means a system that uses geothermal energy for water heating or space heating or cooling in a single building, for space heating for more than one building through a pipeline network, or for electricity generation;
  • Section 3 specifies that geothermal equipment is a type of pollution control equipment that the division of administration in the department of public health and environment may certify as pollution control equipment;
  • Section 4 specifies that a "project" for purposes of the "County and Municipality Development Revenue Bond Act" includes capital improvements to existing single-family residential, multi-family residential, commercial, or industrial structures, to retrofit such structures for installation of geothermal improvements a system that uses geothermal energy for water heating or space heating or cooling in a single structure;
  • Section 5 permits a county board of commissioners or a regional planning commission, and section 9 requires permits a municipal development commission, to include methods for assuring access to appropriate conditions for geothermal energy sources in a master plan for development;
  • Section 7 specifies that the addition of a geothermal energy device to such building used as part of a system that uses geothermal energy for water heating or space heating or cooling to a building is not necessarily considered a structural alteration for purposes of continuing a nonconforming use of a building, structure, or land under a county zoning resolution;
  • Section 10 permits the Colorado agricultural value-added development board to use some of the money in the agriculture value-added cash fund for geothermal energy generation facilities that are colocated with agricultural uses;
  • Section 11 10 adds a geothermal energy device to the types of renewable energy generation devices that cannot be prohibited in legal instruments related to the transfer or sale of, or interest in, real property;
  • Section 13 includes an independently owned geothermal energy system, which is defined in section 12 , in the property tax exemption for household furnishings;
  • Section 14 11 creates community geothermal gardens, which are analogous to community solar gardens; except that a qualifying retail utility is permitted and not required to purchase electricity and renewable energy credits generated from one or more community geothermal gardens; and
  • Sections 15 and 16 12 through 16 create conforming amendments to the definition of "qualified community location" to incorporate community geothermal gardens for purposes of local improvement districts and municipal special improvement districts to the creation of community geothermal gardens.

Section 1 requires permits the office to update the greenhouse gas pollution reduction roadmap to expressly include geothermal energy as a renewable energy resource that qualifying retail utilities may use to achieve the electric utility sector greenhouse gas pollution reduction goals set forth in the roadmap.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status

Introduced
Passed
Became Law

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Bill Text

Email addresses for the Colorado legislature changed from the @state.co.us domain to the @coleg.gov domain on December 1, 2022. Details