The bill creates the geothermal energy grant program (grant program) in the Colorado energy office (office) within the office of the governor. The grant program offers 3 types of grants:
- The single-structure geothermal grant, which is awarded to applicants that are constructing new buildings and that are installing a geothermal system as the primary heating system for the building;
- The community district heating grant, which is awarded to support ground-source, water-source, or multisource thermal systems that serve more than one building; and
- The geothermal electricity generation grant, which is awarded to support the development of geothermal electricity generation and hydrogen generation produced from geothermal energy.
The bill sets qualifications, limits, and standards for awarding the grants.
A grantee is prohibited from using the money for any purpose not specified in statute or in the grant application. Using the grant money for another purpose subjects the grantee to a civil action seeking repayment.
The bill creates the geothermal energy grant fund (fund).The grant money in the fund is allocated in the following percentages:
- Up to 40% of the total money in the fund may be awarded in grants for cost-matching public-private partnerships to support the development of geothermal electricity generation and resource development, which may include hydrogen generation produced from geothermal energy;
- Up to
60%80% of the total money in the fund may be awarded in grants for constructing new buildings and remodeling existing buildings using geothermal heating, and one-fourth of the money must be awarded to eligible entities from or projects in low-income, disproportionately impacted, or just transition communities; and
- Up to 25% of the total money in the fund may be awarded in grants to support the development of district heating systems in new construction or to retrofit existing buildings.
The money in the fund is continuously appropriated to implement the grant program. The state treasurer will transfer $20 million from the general fund to the fund.
The office administers the grant program and, in doing so, must develop and apply criteria for evaluating and awarding grant applications that:
- Prioritize projects in low-income, disproportionately impacted, or just transition communities; and
- Maximize the number of additional projects that would otherwise not occur without grant money.
Each grantee must submit an annual report to the office for 2 years following receipt of a grant award. By February 1, 2024, and each year thereafter, the office must submit a report to the transportation and energy committee of the senate and the energy and environment committee of the house of representatives. The report must include:
- The grant expenditures;
- The percentage of each type of grant awarded;
- The total amount of matching funds that grantees provided to receive a grant;
- The percentage of grants awarded to and for projects in low-income, disproportionately impacted, or just transition communities; and
- To the extent available, the effects of the grants on gas use, electricity use, emissions, and energy costs.
(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.)