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Colorado Microgrid Roadmap

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Project background

On behalf of the State of Colorado, the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) is working with contractors from S&C Electric and NORESCO to develop a Colorado Microgrid Roadmap Study. The contractors are working with an interagency team of representatives from CEO and the Department of Local Affairs’ Colorado Resiliency Office (CRO) to develop the roadmap. This roadmap will evaluate the role of microgrids in ensuring all Coloradans have access to reliable and resilient electrical service.

Colorado has recently experienced an increasing number of climate-related extreme weather events, including wildfires, winter storms , and floods. State lawmakers recognize the potential impacts of these extreme weather events on the electric grid and passed legislation (HB22-1249) directing CEO and CRO to develop a Microgrid Roadmap providing guidance on how microgrids can: 

  • improve grid resilience and reliability for individual customers and communities; 
  • deliver and manage electricity;
  • provide necessary infrastructure in locations where extending distribution infrastructure is not practical ; and, 
  • operate independently and disconnected from the larger grid when necessary to meet the electricity needs of communities, neighborhoods, or buildings.

Following robust stakeholder engagement efforts this winter and a public comment period on the Microgrid draft in summer 2024, the State will publish the final Microgrid Roadmap no later than January 1, 2025.

Stakeholder engagement and public comment

We are kicking off a second round of stakeholder engagement for the Microgrid Roadmap to improve electric grid resilience and reliability in Colorado. We will publish a draft microgrid roadmap to this website by June 26 and will host a webinar at 2:00 PM MT that afternoon to provide an overview.

Register for June 26 Microgrid Roadmap Webinar

The state will then host a series of meetings on July 22, 23, and 24, at 12:00 - 1:00 PM MT, for various stakeholder groups to provide input on the roadmap. Your valuable feedback will inform revisions and updates to the draft roadmap before finalizing it later this year. We encourage all attendees to familiarize themselves with the draft roadmap prior to attending to ensure a meaningful discussion. If you are interested in attending to share your thoughts, questions, or concerns, please register for the relevant stakeholder meeting below:

Register for July 22: Western Slope and Eastern Plains Communities

Register for July 23: Front Range Communities

Register for July 24: Technical Meeting (IOUS, Developers, Trades, CPUC)

Stakeholders may also provide written feedback via the form linked below.

Submit written comment

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Contact Information

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What is a microgrid?

A microgrid is a small network of interconnected electricity components that can function independently from the utility grid when necessary, such as during an extreme weather event. Local electricity generation, battery storage, and generators feed power to the microgrid interconnection. The microgrid interconnection can then distribute power to and from the utility grid, as well as directly to local electricity consumers, such as commercial, industrial, and residential buildings and electric vehicles. Because the microgrid interconnection receives power from multiple sources, it is able to disconnect from the utility grid and continue delivering electricity to local electricity consumers during utility grid power outages. A microgrid controller oversees this process to ensure uninterrupted, reliable access to electricity.

Diagram showing the microgrid interconnection between the power supply, the utility grid, and electricity consumers
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Objectives

The goal of this project is to produce a Microgrid Roadmap that can help guide policy and the development of microgrids in Colorado.  This includes:

  • Defining the potential benefits of developing different types of microgrids with various technologies, including if and how microgrids will improve grid resilience and reliability in Colorado. 
  • Developing criteria to prioritize microgrid projects in places that are at high risk of electric service disruptions due extreme weather or inadequate infrastructure
  • Recommending legislative or administrative actions to facilitate projects, including: 
    • statutory or rule changes
    • factors to consider for the safety, development, maintenance, and deployment of microgrids 
    • metrics to evaluate the costs and benefits of microgrids
    • financial and technical support needs
    • education and outreach programs, including apprenticeship programs