directs authorizes the public utilities commission (PUC) to approve utilities' applications to build new transmission facilities if the PUC, in its discretion consistent with its authority , finds that the new facilities would assist the utilities in meeting the state's clean energy goals established in 2019. In constructing or expanding transmission facilities, a utility must use its own employees, engage a contractor whose employees have access to federally approved apprenticeship programs, or both. Section 1 also requires the PUC to consider the ability of the proposed facilities to support future expansion as needed to enable the utility to participate in a regional transmission organization (RTO) an organized wholesale market (OWM) . An application for construction or expansion of transmission facilities is deemed approved if the PUC does not deny it within 180 days after the application is complete and public notice has been given. Section 6 imposes a similar 180-day deadline for approval by a local government if local government approval is required. 5 7 create the Colorado electric transmission authority (CETA) as an independent special purpose authority, and section 4 specifies the composition and manner of appointment of the board of directors that governs the authority. CETA is authorized to select a qualified transmission operator to finance, plan, acquire, maintain, and operate eligible electric transmission and interconnected storage facilities (eligible facilities).
4 and 6 4, 8, and 9 , CETA is granted various powers necessary to accomplish its purposes, including the power to:
- Issue revenue bonds;
- Identify and establish intrastate electric transmission corridors;
- Coordinate with other entities to establish interstate electric transmission corridors;
- Exercise the power of eminent domain to acquire eligible facilities; and
- Collect payments of reasonable rates, fees, interest, or other charges from persons using eligible facilities.
CETA is generally subject to state open records and open meetings requirements, but proprietary confidential information that it holds, including power purchase agreements, costs of production, costs of transmission, transmission service agreements, credit reviews, detailed power models, and financing statements, is not subject to inspection. Section
8 10 authorizes payment of CETA's administrative expenses, not to exceed $500,000 annually, from an existing cash fund administered by the PUC. RTO OWM . The commission may delay or waive this requirement for a utility that is unable, despite its best efforts, to find a viable and available RTO OWM to join or if the commission finds, in the course of its ongoing study of RTOs OWM s under Senate Bill 19-236, that requiring the utility to join an RTO would not be in the public interest.
Under current law, a cooperative electric association with an electric easement on real property is authorized to install or to allow a commercial broadband supplier to install broadband facilities on the real property, subject to notice and procedural requirements. Section 3 expands the authorization to
also apply to either of the following entities with an electric easement: any non-investor-owned, vertically integrated supplier of electric energy to its customers or members. A generation and transmission cooperative electric association; or The federal western area power administration within the United States department of energy. 7 9 specifies that when a right-of-way is taken for an interstate electric transmission line, the court shall evaluate public purpose in light of the transmission system as a whole, including public use and benefits occurring both either within Colorado and or at a regional level.
(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.)