- Further details have been released on the settlement Colorado and national solar industry representatives reached with Xcel Energy. The settlement will extend Xcel’s popular Colorado small residential Solar*Rewards program and reopen medium-sized solar programs.
- Pending Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approval, 27 megawatts of solar capacity can go ahead until regulators approve Xcel’s 2014 Renewable Energy Standard Compliance Plan.
- The agreement allows four megawatts per month to a total of twenty megawatts for the small solar installations (up to 25 kilowatts) program and as many as seven megawatts for the commercial-industrial scale installations (25 kilowatts to 500 kilowatts) program that had been closed since October 2013.
There are nearly 20,000 rooftop solar installations in Colorado after 2013’s record solar build of 5,000 new residential systems, a 64% jump over the previous year.
This settlement does not address the controversial net energy metering debate that is widely considered crucial to further solar growth and is to be resolved by a PUC decision later this year in a separate docket.
The Xcel Solar*Rewards program, approved by Colorado voters in 2004 as part of the Renewable Energy Standard, offers customers incentives to install solar but the commercial-industrial scale program was fully subscribed and no further incentives were available and the small scale program was approaching that level.
As a result of the settlement, the small program incentives will be $0.03 per kilowatt-hour for customer-owned installations and $0.01 per kilowatt-hour for third-party owned installations.
The commercial-industrial program incentives will be $0.06 per kilowatt-hour for the first 6 megawatts and $0.05 per kilowatt-hour for the seventh megawatt
Xcel and the solar advocates agreed to reconvene if incentives for the Solar*Rewards program approved in the 2014 RES Compliance Plan near full subscription.