Xcel Energy and solar power backers broker deal for 2014 Solar*Rewards

May 7, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Namaste Solar panel rooftop

Josh Ford, lead installer and co-owner of Namaste Solar, with installer Kevin Gillette, put solar panels on a house near 35th and Decatur in Denver.

Cathy Proctor
Reporter- Denver Business Journal


Xcel Energy Inc. and the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA) have cut a deal to allow incentives and rebates to flow for new renewable energy systems installed this year while the two sides wait for a ruling from state regulators on the fate of the utility’s 2014 Renewable Energy Standard Plan.

Also involved in the deal is the national solar power trade group, the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Xcel filed its 2014 renewable energy proposal with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in July 2013.

But the proposal has been mired in debate over the size of the net-metering payments Xcel pays to its customers that generate more solar power than they use. That issue was recently stripped out of the plan and will be dealt with separately.

But in the meantime, solar power companies were working with customers who wanted solar power systems installed on their property.

Xcel currently has nearly 20,000 solar power installations on its system across its Colorado service territory. More than 5,000 new residential systems were added in 2013, a 64 percent jump over 2012, according to the utility.

Without commission approval to extend the Solar*Rewards program, incentives for installations would be suspended once current categories of the program were filled.

And the Solar*Rewards category for commercial-scale solar power systems was full, meaning that Xcel couldn’t accept applications for rebates and incentives for systems capable of generating between 25 and 500 kilowatts of power.

That category has been closed to new applications since October 2013, Xcel and COSEIA said in an announcement on Tuesday.

Cathy Proctor covers energy, the environment, transportation and construction for the Denver Business Journal and edits the weekly “Energy Inc.” newsletter. Phone: 303-803-9233. Subscribe to the Energy Inc. newsletter

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