Xcel’s solar rewards program is not terminated, just the limited capacity in the new Solar*Rewards Community program spured by HB10-1342. The solar rewards program remains intact as approved by the PUC in June.
The largest, most influential utility in the state has announced an end to its popular solar energy incentive programSolar*Rewards Community scheme. Xcel Energy was seeking approximately 4.5MW of generation, from systems less than or equal to 500kW via its “Solar*R ewards Community”program. Low and behold (and not suprising!), it received approximately three times that amount in applications in about 30 minutes after the program opened, prompting a closing for applications about an hour later.
“Colorado is a national leader in solar innovation,” said Neal Lurie, Executive Director of the nonprofit Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association. “The community solar model helps reach new customers and makes it easier for renters and those with a shaded roof to go solar.”
The “Solar*Rewards Community” incentive program was designed for Colorado customers who could not, for various reasons, take advantage of other solar programs, because they were renting, lived in multi-family dwellings or did not have homes or businesses suitable for solar installations. Customers were able to purchase renewable energy through solar project developers from a community-based photovoltaic system.
CLICK HERE to read how Xcel Energy officially describes the program.
Laura McCarten, regional vice president for Xcel, said that the market would need to be rebranded if it wanted to ensure longevity.
“From a public policy standpoint, it really needs to be looked at with a fresh eye,” she said, “the regulatory framework, the incentive mechanism, and then how does this work and who should really pay for it?”