- Xcel Energy subsidiary Northern States Power Company of Wisconsin (NSPW) will offer 3 MW of community shared solar to Wisconsin customers in 3 or 4 arrays, Midwest Energy News reports. The program is small compared to those offered by Xcel to its customers in Colorado and Minnesota.
- According to the utility’s filing with state regulators, Solar Connect Community, the first Wisconsin community solar offering from an investor-owned utility, would be limited to sites of 1 MW or less. Subscribers would pay upfront for a 25 year contract, would be limited to 400 kilowatts total, and would buy in 200 watt increments.
- Bill credits for Wisconsin customers would be either $0.069 per kWh or $0.074 per kWh, depending on the system size. Bill credits to Minnesota customers are estimated to be $0.12 per kwh to $0.15 per kWh.
A just-released National Renewable Energy Labs study finds at least 49% of U.S. households and 48% of businesses do not have solar-suitable rooftops. “By opening the market to these customers, shared solar could represent 32%–49% of the distributed PV market in 2020, thereby leading to growing cumulative PV deployment growth in 2015–2020 of 5.5–11.0 GW, and representing $8.2–$16.3 billion of cumulative investment.”
Xcel Colorado has 14 operating solar gardens and 530 participating customers in its service area, with 98% of the arrays’ output subscribed. Xcel Minnesota is in the process of sorting through solar developer applications for over 560 MW of community shared solar.
Subscriptions costs for Wisconsin community solar will be set after regulators approve NSPW’s filing and developers are selected through an RFP process. Pressure has increased on Wisconsin IOUs to offer community shared solar because several electric cooperatives, including Dairyland Power, Vernon Electrical, St. Croix Electric, Barron Electric and Eau Claire Energy, have been building arrays since 2013.