Colorado seeking public comment on streamlining transmission siting

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is seeking input on issues of collaboration and local governments’ power in the transmission siting process (Docket No. 12I-490E).

The PUC opened a docket on May 9 on the issues in an action that stems from a report authored by the 17-member Colorado Task Force on Statewide Transmission Siting and Permitting.

After a series of public meetings, the task force on Dec. 1 issued a report that included three recommendations for streamlining the state’s siting and permitting process including the opening of a docket to consider improvements to the backstop process and consider establishing a transmission siting and permitting resource center.

In the order effective May 15, the PUC initiated the recommended docket to consider five issues recommended by the task force, including continued monitoring of best practices for transmission permitting and siting; determining the best practices for providing advisory services to the PUC during backstop appeal cases; establishing a transmission permitting and siting resource center for the benefit of local governments, transmission operators, the public, and the PUC; determining whether a resource center would be helpful and, if so, whether it should be located within the PUC, the Department of Local Government, or some other entity; and establishing a procedure for the PUC to receive reports from those participating in the collaborative efforts between local governments.

The order invited interested parties to submit comments, research materials, operational studies, market analyses, and other material that may be pertinent to the topics identified to the PUC by June 15. “Interested parties” refers to anyone – expert, industry person, or resident — who has an interest, a PUC spokesperson told TransmissionHub on May 23.

In addition to receiving and evaluating information, the PUC will conduct a workshop, likely in late July, where future steps and processes will be determined.