This amendment seeks to increase the amount of renewable energy ” wind, solar and water ” that large energy providers will be required to make available to consumers over the next 10 years. It seeks to increase renewable energy production by 10 percent by 2015.
Only 2 percent of power used in the state now comes from renewable energy.
Proponents say it’s time for Colorado to use its abundant wind and solar power to decrease demand for fossil fuels and that by decreasing their use, the new technology will have the twin benefits of cleaning up the air and creating jobs. States like Maine get up to 30 percent of their energy from clean, sustainable sources.
Opponents, mostly the state’s largest power providers, say the measure will cost up to $1 billion over the next 20 years and that that cost will be largely borne by businesses. They also say renewable sources of energy are not as dependable as fossil fuels.
The proposed amendment to the Colorado Revised Statutes: requires certain Colorado utilities to generate or purchase a portion of their electric power from renewable energy resources beginning in 2007; defines the renewable energy resources that may be used to meet the requirement; limits the amount that an average residential electric bill can increase as a result of the requirement to 50 cents per month; provides financial incentives to certain customers and utilities to invest in renewable energy; and allows a utility to hold an election to either exempt or include itself in the renewable energy requirement. Background Colorado is served by 60 utilities that generate electricity using primarily coal and natural gas, and some hydroelectric power. Colorado utilities are not required to use renewable energy sources to generate electricity; however, roughly 2 percent of electricity currently generated in Colorado comes from the renewable energy sources defined in this proposal. To date, 16 other states have adopted renewable energy requirements. The maximum amount and source of the renewable energy vary by state, ranging from 1.1 percent of the total electricity generated in Arizona (mostly solar) to 30 percent in Maine (mostly hydroelectric). The proposal requires Colorado utilities with 40,000 or more customers to generate or purchase a percentage of their electricity from renewable sources according to the following schedule: – 3 percent from 2007 through 2010; – 6 percent from 2011 through 2014; and – 10 percent by 2015 and thereafter.
Of the electricity generated each year from renewable sources, at least 4 percent must come from solar technologies. Initially, nine Colorado utilities serving over 80 percent of the state’s electric customers will be required to comply with this proposal. Eligible sources of renewable energy. Utilities may use a variety of renewable energy sources to satisfy the new requirement. These are: wind; solar; geothermal heat, such as underground reservoirs of steam or hot water; biomass facilities that burn nontoxic plants, methane from landfills, or animal waste; small hydroelectric power stations; and hydrogen fuel cells. Financial incentives. Under the proposal, utility customers may earn a rebate for installing solar electric generation equipment on their property. Any electricity generated from the solar equipment in excess of the customer’s annual use may be sold to the utility. In addition, for-profit utilities may earn extra profit and bonuses if their investment in renewable energy technologies reduces the retail cost of electricity to their customers. Tradeable renewable energy credit system. A system of tradeable renewable energy credits will allow utilities that do not generate the required amount of electricity from renewable energy sources to purchase “credits” from those utilities that exceed the requirement. Procedure for exemption and inclusion. Affected utilities may hold elections to exempt themselves from the renewable energy requirement. Similarly, utilities not subject to the requirement may hold elections to be included. At least 25 percent of the utility’s customers must vote on the issue of exemption or inclusion, with a majority vote required for passage. In addition, a municipal utility or a rural electric cooperative may develop a similar renewable energy requirement and be exempted from this proposal. To qualify, the utility must: 1) use at least one of the eligible renewable energy sources, 2) follow the same schedule for electricity generation from renewable sources, and 3) offer an optional pricing program that allows customers to support emerging renewable technologies. Utilities that choose this option are not required to generate electricity from solar sources.
Role of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The Public Utilities Commission must adopt rules to implement this proposal. The Commission will monitor and enforce the compliance of those utilities required to meet the new renewable energy requirements. Arguments For 1) Using renewable energy makes economic sense. Conventional fuels are finite, while renewable energy sources are unlimited. As time passes, supplies of coal and natural gas will diminish and these resources will likely become more expensive. In contrast, the price of renewable energy will decrease as technologies improve. Generating a percentage of electricity from renewable resources contributes to energy diversity and reduces Colorado’s vulnerability to fluctuations in the price or supply of fuel. 2) Electricity generated from renewable sources has less harmful environmental impacts than electricity generated from conventional fuels. The environmental benefits of using renewable energy include cleaner air and water, more efficient use of water, and less damage to the landscape. Both coal and natural gas-fired power plants emit significant amounts of air pollutants. According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, generating 10 percent of electricity from renewable sources is roughly equal to eliminating the carbon dioxide emissions from 600,000 cars annually. 3) Using a variety of resources to meet Colorado’s increasing electricity needs will improve the stability and security of Colorado’s electricity supply. Increasing Colorado’s use of renewable energy will reduce its dependence on conventional fuels. The state must prepare for the future by requiring a percentage of its electricity to be generated from renewable resources. 4) Renewable energy facilities, typically located in rural areas, boost rural economies. The construction and maintenance of renewable energy facilities will create jobs in rural Colorado. Some farmers and ranchers will be able to tap into a new source of income by using agricultural waste to generate electricity and by leasing their land for wind facilities. In addition, renewable energy facilities provide tax revenues that can be used by local governments to pay for services such as schools and hospitals. Arguments Against 1) Electricity generated from renewable resources is oftentimes more expensive than electricity generated from conventional fuels. Colorado utilities with over 40,000 customers will be required to generate electricity from renewable resources, regardless of cost. Currently, utilities generate electricity using the least expensive fuel source. The proposal requires at least 4 percent of renewable energy to come from solar sources, one of the most expensive renewable energy sources. The proposal also prohibits utilities from counting electricity generated from large hydroelectric projects that are already in place toward the new requirement. 2) Consumers may pay more for electricity under this proposal. Utilities will pass any additional costs on to consumers, such as those for building or acquiring more transmission lines. While the proposal caps the amount that an average residential electric bill can increase as a result of the renewable energy requirement, it provides no such cap for non-residential customers such as business, industrial, government, or wholesale. 3) Colorado requires a continual and reliable means of energy production. A certain amount of electricity must be available at all times, and a certain amount must be maintained in reserve. Renewable energy, especially wind and solar resources, are intermittent and may not be available when needed. This could cause problems during peak energy demand periods or in emergencies. 4) The use of renewable resources should be a choice not a mandate. Colorado utilities are already using renewable energy resources when they are cost-effective. Further, most utilities have programs that give customers the option to purchase all or a share of their electricity from renewable sources.
Estimate of Fiscal Impact State impact. The renewable energy requirement will be administered by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. Average annual administrative costs to the Commission are estimated at roughly $60,000, with the potential for an additional one-time start-up cost of up to $80,000. These costs will be covered by fees charged to affected utilities. In addition, to the extent that this proposal changes retail electricity rates, state and local governments will see changes to their electric utility bills. Impact on retail electricity rates. Changes in retail electricity rates as a result of this proposal will vary by service provider, and will depend upon several factors, including: – the amount of renewable generation the provider has installed versus the amount it must acquire from other providers in the form of renewable energy credits; – the cost difference of generating electricity from renewable sources versus conventional fuel sources;
– the price of natural gas and coal;
– whether federal tax credits for renewable energy facilities are available;
– the amount of solar generation the provider currently has in place; and
– the number of customers choosing to install on-site solar facilities.
Ballot Title: An amendment to the Colorado revised statutes concerning renewable energy standards for large providers of retail electric service, and, in connection therewith, defining eligible renewable energy resources to include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, small hydroelectricity, and hydrogen fuel cells; requiring that a percentage of retail electricity sales be derived from renewable sources, beginning with 3% in the year 2007 and increasing to 10% by 2015; requiring utilities to offer customers a rebate of $2.00 per watt and other incentives for solar electric generation; providing incentives for utilities to invest in renewable energy resources that provide net economic benefits to customers; limiting the retail rate impact of renewable energy resources to 50 cents per month for residential customers; requiring public utilities commission rules to establish major aspects of the measure; prohibiting utilities from using condemnation or eminent domain to acquire land for generating facilities used to meet the standards; requiring utilities with requirements contracts to address shortfalls from the standards; and specifying election procedures by which the customers of a utility may opt out of the requirements of this amendment.
Text of Proposal: Be it Enacted by the People of the State of Colorado: SECTION 1. Legislative declaration of intent: Energy is critically important to Colorado’s welfare and development, and its use has a profound impact on the economy and environment. Growth of the state’s population and economic base will continue to create a need for new energy resources, and Colorado’s renewable energy resources are currently underutilized. Therefore, in order to save consumers and businesses money, attract new businesses and jobs, promote development of rural economies, minimize water use for electricity generation, diversify Colorado’s energy resources, reduce the impact of volatile fuel prices, and improve the natural environment of the state, it is in the best interests of the citizens of Colorado to develop and utilize renewable energy resources to the maximum practicable extent. SECTION 2. Article 2 of title 40, Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended BY THE ADDITION OF THE FOLLOWING NEW SECTIONS to read: ARTICLE 2 Renewable Energy Standard 40-2-124. Renewable Energy Standard. (1) EACH PROVIDER OF RETAIL ELECTRIC SERVICE IN THE STATE OF COLORADO THAT SERVES OVER 40,000 CUSTOMERS SHALL BE CONSIDERED A QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY AND SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE RULES ESTABLISHED UNDER THIS ARTICLE BY THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF THE STATE OF COLORADO (COMMISSION). NO ADDITIONAL REGULATORY AUTHORITY OF THE COMMISSION OTHER THAN THAT SPECIFICALLY CONTAINED HEREIN IS PROVIDED OR IMPLIED. IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE 4 OF TITLE 24, C.R.S., ON OR BEFORE APRIL 1, 2005, THE COMMISSION SHALL INITIATE ONE OR MORE RULEMAKING PROCESSES TO ESTABLISH THE FOLLOWING: (A) DEFINITIONS OF ELIGIBLE RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES THAT CAN BE USED TO MEET THE STANDARDS. ELIGIBLE RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES ARE SOLAR, WIND, GEOTHERMAL, BIOMASS, AND HYDROELECTRICITY WITH A NAMEPLATE RATING OF 10 MEGAWATTS OR LESS. THE COMMISSION SHALL DETERMINE, FOLLOWING AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING, THE EXTENT THAT SUCH ELECTRIC GENERATION TECHNOLOGIES UTILIZED IN AN OPTIONAL PRICING PROGRAM MAY BE USED TO COMPLY WITH THIS STANDARD. A FUEL CELL USING HYDROGEN DERIVED FROM THESE ELIGIBLE RESOURCES IS ALSO AN ELIGIBLE ELECTRIC GENERATION TECHNOLOGY. FOSSIL AND NUCLEAR FUELS AND THEIR DERIVATIVES ARE NOT ELIGIBLE RESOURCES. FURTHER, “BIOMASS” SHALL BE DEFINED TO MEAN: (I) NONTOXIC PLANT MATTER THAT IS THE BYPRODUCT OF AGRICULTURAL CROPS, URBAN WOOD WASTE, MILL RESIDUE, SLASH, OR BRUSH; (II) ANIMAL WASTES AND PRODUCTS OF ANIMAL WASTES; OR (III) METHANE PRODUCED AT LANDFILLS OR AS A BY-PRODUCT OF THE TREATMENT OF WASTEWATER RESIDUALS. (B) STANDARDS FOR THE DESIGN, PLACEMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF ELECTRIC GENERATION TECHNOLOGIES THAT USE ELIGIBLE RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES TO ENSURE THAT THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF SUCH FACILITIES ARE MINIMIZED. (C) (I) ELECTRIC RESOURCE STANDARDS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES. THE ELECTRIC RESOURCE STANDARD SHALL REQUIRE EACH QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY TO GENERATE, OR CAUSE TO BE GENERATED, ELECTRICITY FROM ELIGIBLE RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES IN THE FOLLOWING MINIMUM AMOUNTS: (A) 3% OF ITS RETAIL ELECTRICITY SALES IN COLORADO FOR THE YEARS 2007 THROUGH 2010; (B) 6% OF ITS RETAIL ELECTRICITY SALES IN COLORADO FOR THE YEARS 2011 THROUGH 2014; (C) 10% OF ITS RETAIL ELECTRICITY SALES IN COLORADO FOR THE YEARS 2015 AND THEREAFTER. (II) OF THE AMOUNTS IN SUBPART (C)(I), AT LEAST 4% SHALL BE DERIVED FROM SOLAR ELECTRIC GENERATION TECHNOLOGIES. AT LEAST ONE-HALF OF THIS 4% SHALL BE DERIVED FROM SOLAR ELECTRIC TECHNOLOGIES LOCATED ON-SITE AT CUSTOMERS’ FACILITIES. (III) EACH KILOWATT-HOUR OF RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY GENERATED IN COLORADO SHALL BE COUNTED AS 1.25 KILOWATT-HOURS FOR THE PURPOSES OF COMPLIANCE WITH THIS STANDARD. (IV) TO THE EXTENT THAT THE ABILITY OF A QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY TO ACQUIRE ELIGIBLE RENEWABLE ELECTRIC GENERATION IS LIMITED BY A REQUIREMENTS CONTRACT WITH A WHOLESALE ELECTRIC SUPPLIER, THE QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY SHALL ACQUIRE THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT ALLOWED BY THE CONTRACT. FOR ANY SHORTFALLS TO THE AMOUNTS ESTABLISHED BY THE COMMISSION PURSUANT TO PART (C)(I), THE QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY SHALL ACQUIRE AN EQUIVALENT AMOUNT OF EITHER (I) RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDITS, (II) DOCUMENTED AND VERIFIED ENERGY SAVINGS THROUGH ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CONSERVATION PROGRAMS, OR (III) A COMBINATION OF BOTH. ANY CONTRACT ENTERED INTO BY A QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL NOT CONFLICT WITH THIS ARTICLE. (D) A SYSTEM OF TRADABLE RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDITS THAT MAY BE USED BY A QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY TO COMPLY WITH THIS STANDARD. THE COMMISSION SHALL ALSO ANALYZE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF UTILIZING ANY REGIONAL SYSTEM OF RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDITS IN EXISTENCE AT THE TIME OF ITS RULEMAKING PROCESS AND DETERMINE IF THE SYSTEM IS GOVERNED BY RULES THAT ARE CONSISTENT WITH THE RULES ESTABLISHED FOR THIS ARTICLE. (E) A STANDARD REBATE OFFER PROGRAM. EACH QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY SHALL MAKE AVAILABLE TO ITS RETAIL ELECTRICITY CUSTOMERS A STANDARD REBATE OFFER OF A MINIMUM OF $2.00 PER WATT FOR THE INSTALLATION OF ELIGIBLE SOLAR ELECTRIC GENERATION ON CUSTOMERS’ PREMISES UP TO A MAXIMUM OF ONE-HUNDRED KILOWATTS PER INSTALLATION. SUCH OFFER SHALL ALLOW CUSTOMER’S RETAIL ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION TO BE OFFSET BY THE SOLAR ELECTRICITY GENERATED. TO THE EXTENT THAT SOLAR ELECTRICITY GENERATION EXCEEDS THE CUSTOMER’S CONSUMPTION DURING A BILLING MONTH, SUCH EXCESS ELECTRICITY SHALL BE CARRIED FORWARD AS A CREDIT TO THE FOLLOWING MONTH’S CONSUMPTION. TO THE EXTENT THAT SOLAR ELECTRICITY GENERATION EXCEEDS THE CUSTOMER’S CONSUMPTION DURING A CALENDAR YEAR, THE CUSTOMER SHALL BE REIMBURSED BY THE QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY AT ITS AVERAGE HOURLY INCREMENTAL COST OF ELECTRICITY SUPPLY OVER THE PRIOR TWELVE MONTH PERIOD. THE QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY SHALL NOT APPLY UNREASONABLY BURDENSOME INTERCONNECTION REQUIREMENTS IN CONNECTION WITH THIS STANDARD REBATE OFFER. ELECTRICITY GENERATED UNDER THIS PROGRAM SHALL BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY’S COMPLIANCE WITH THIS ARTICLE. (F) POLICIES FOR THE RECOVERY OF COSTS INCURRED WITH RESPECT TO THESE STANDARDS FOR QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITIES THAT ARE SUBJECT TO RATE REGULATION BY THE COMMISSION. SUCH POLICIES SHALL INCLUDE: (I) ALLOWING QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITIES TO EARN AN EXTRA PROFIT ON THEIR INVESTMENT IN RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES IF THESE INVESTMENTS PROVIDE NET ECONOMIC BENEFITS TO CUSTOMERS AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSION. THE ALLOWABLE EXTRA PROFIT IN ANY YEAR SHALL BE THE QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY’S MOST RECENT COMMISSION AUTHORIZED RATE OF RETURN PLUS A BONUS LIMITED TO 50% OF THE NET ECONOMIC BENEFIT. (II) ALLOWING QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITIES TO EARN THEIR MOST RECENT COMMISSION AUTHORIZED RATE OF RETURN, BUT NO BONUS, ON INVESTMENTS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES IF THESE INVESTMENTS DO NOT PROVIDE A NET ECONOMIC BENEFIT TO CUSTOMERS. (III) IF THE COMMISSION APPROVES THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF A RENEWABLE ENERGY CONTRACT BETWEEN THE QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY AND ANOTHER PARTY, THE RENEWABLE ENERGY CONTRACT AND ITS TERMS AND CONDITIONS SHALL BE DEEMED TO BE A PRUDENT INVESTMENT, AND THE COMMISSION SHALL APPROVE RETAIL RATES SUFFICIENT TO RECOVER ALL JUST AND REASONABLE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE CONTRACT. ALL CONTRACTS FOR ACQUISITION OF ELIGIBLE RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY SHALL HAVE A MINIMUM TERM OF 20 YEARS. ALL CONTRACTS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDITS FROM SOLAR ELECTRIC TECHNOLOGIES LOCATED ON SITE AT CUSTOMER FACILITIES SHALL ALSO HAVE A MINIMUM TERM OF TWENTY YEARS. (IV) A REQUIREMENT THAT QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITIES CONSIDER PROPOSALS OFFERED BY THIRD PARTIES FOR THE SALE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY AND/OR RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDITS. THE COMMISSION MAY DEVELOP STANDARD TERMS FOR THE SUBMISSION OF SUCH PROPOSALS. (G) RETAIL RATE IMPACT RULE. THE COMMISSION SHALL ANNUALLY ESTABLISH A MAXIMUM RETAIL RATE IMPACT FOR THIS SECTION OF 50 CENTS ($0.50) PER MONTH FOR THE AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMER OF A QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY. THE RETAIL RATE IMPACT SHALL BE DETERMINED NET OF NEW NONRENEWABLE ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF ELECTRICITY SUPPLY REASONABLY AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF THE DETERMINATION. (H) ANNUAL REPORTS. EACH QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY SHALL SUBMIT TO THE COMMISSION AN ANNUAL REPORT THAT PROVIDES INFORMATION RELATING TO THE ACTIONS TAKEN TO COMPLY WITH THIS ARTICLE INCLUDING THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF EXPENDITURES FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY. THE REPORT SHALL BE WITHIN THE TIME PRESCRIBED AND IN A FORMAT APPROVED BY THE COMMISSION. (I) RULES NECESSARY FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS ARTICLE INCLUDING ENFORCEMENT MECHANISMS NECESSARY TO ENSURE THAT EACH QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY COMPLIES WITH THIS STANDARD; AND PROVISIONS GOVERNING THE IMPOSITION OF ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES ASSESSED AFTER A HEARING HELD BY THE COMMISSION PURSUANT TO SECTION 40-6-109. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL THE COSTS OF ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES BE RECOVERED FROM COLORADO RETAIL CUSTOMERS. (2) THE COMMISSION SHALL ESTABLISH ALL RULES CALLED FOR IN SUBSECTIONS (A) THROUGH (G) OF THIS SECTION BY MARCH 31, 2006. (3) IF A MUNICIPALLY OWNED ELECTRIC UTILITY OR A RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE IMPLEMENTS A RENEWABLE ENERGY STANDARD SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR TO THIS SECTION 40-2-124, THEN THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE MUNICIPALLY OWNED ELECTRIC UTILITY OR RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE MAY SELF-CERTIFY ITS RENEWABLE ENERGY STANDARD AND UPON SELF-CERTIFICATION WILL HAVE NO OBLIGATIONS UNDER THIS ARTICLE. THE MUNICIPALLY OWNED UTILITY OR COOPERATIVE SHALL SUBMIT A STATEMENT TO THE COMMISSION THAT DEMONSTRATES SUCH UTILITY OR COOPERATIVE HAS A SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR RENEWABLE ENERGY STANDARD. IN ORDER FOR SUCH UTILITY OR COOPERATIVE TO SELF-CERTIFY, SUCH RENEWABLE ENERGY STANDARD SHALL, AT A MINIMUM, MEET THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA: (A) THE ELIGIBLE RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES MUST BE LIMITED TO THOSE IDENTIFIED IN SUBSECTION 40-2-124(1)(A), (B) THE PERCENTAGE REQUIREMENTS MUST BE EQUAL TO OR GREATER IN THE SAME YEARS THAN THOSE IDENTIFIED IN SUBSECTION 40-2-124(1)(C)(I), AND (C) THE UTILITY MUST HAVE AN OPTIONAL PRICING PROGRAM IN EFFECT THAT ALLOWS RETAIL CUSTOMERS THE OPTION TO SUPPORT THROUGH UTILITY RATES EMERGING RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES. (4) PROCEDURE FOR EXEMPTION AND INCLUSION – ELECTION. (A) THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF EACH QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY SUBJECT TO SECTION 40-2-124 MAY, AT ITS OPTION, SUBMIT THE QUESTION OF ITS EXEMPTION FROM SECTION 40-2-124 CRS, TO ITS CONSUMERS ON A ONE METER EQUALS ONE VOTE BASIS. APPROVAL BY A MAJORITY OF THOSE VOTING IN THE ELECTION SHALL BE REQUIRED FOR SUCH EXEMPTION, PROVIDING THAT A MINIMUM OF 25% OF ELIGIBLE CONSUMERS PARTICIPATES IN THE ELECTION. (B) THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF EACH MUNICIPALLY OWNED ELECTRIC UTILITY OR RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE NOT SUBJECT TO SECTION 40-2-124 MAY, AT ITS OPTION, SUBMIT THE QUESTION OF ITS INCLUSION IN SECTION 40-2-124 CRS, TO ITS CONSUMERS ON A ONE METER EQUALS ONE VOTE BASIS. APPROVAL BY A MAJORITY OF THOSE VOTING IN THE ELECTION SHALL BE REQUIRED FOR SUCH INCLUSION, PROVIDING THAT A MINIMUM OF 25% OF ELIGIBLE CONSUMERS PARTICIPATES IN THE ELECTION. 40-2-125 Eminent Domain Restrictions. A QUALIFYING RETAIL UTILITY SHALL NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO CONDEMN OR EXERCISE THE POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN OVER ANY REAL ESTATE, RIGHT-OF-WAY, EASEMENT, OR OTHER RIGHT PURSUANT TO SECTION 38-2-101, C.R.S., TO SITE THE GENERATION FACILITIES OF A RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEM USED IN WHOLE OR IN PART TO MEET THE ELECTRIC RESOURCE STANDARDS SET FORTH IN SECTION 40-2-124. SECTION 3. This article shall be effective on December 1, 2004.