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Great News: Xcel Energy's Colorado Solar Incentive Back On

Posted by Adam Sewall In Wednesday, March 16 2011 under: Solar Energy Rebates, Colorado Solar, Solar Energy Incentives, Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy caused quite a stir back in February, when it temporarily stopped accepting applications for its popular solar incentive program and asked state regulators for permission to cut the rebate by almost 90 percent, from $2.00 per watt to $0.25 per watt. The move threatened to pour cold water on the state's growing solar energy industry and make it more costly for homeowners to install solar panels.

After a month or so of negotiations, the parties involved -- Colorado officials, solar industry participants and Xcel Energy -- have reached an agreement to resume the utility's Solar*Rewards solar incentive program:

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In Unexpected Move, Black Hills Freezes Its Solar Rebate in Colorado

Black Hills Energy, a Colorado utility company, on Monday announced the suspension of it solar energy rebate program through the end of the year, issuing the following notice on its website:

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Goldman Bets on Solar, Colorado to Host World's Largest CPV Plant

Cogentrix Energy in Charlotte, North Carolina -- a wholly owned subsidiary of of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. -- has signed its first power-purchasing agreement (PPA) for a big concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) plant currently in the works in southern Colorado. The 30-megawatt (MW) plant is expected to produce enough energy to light up approximately 6,500 homes.

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Colorado State University Plans Record Solar Farm

Colorado State University (CSU) may soon be home to higher education's largest solar energy installation.

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Xcel Announces Minnesota Solar Rebate Program

Minnesota isn’t exactly the first state that comes to mind when most people think of solar, but the Lone Star State and its associated utility companies are making significant strides toward a renewable energy future: Xcel Energy, the Minneapolis-based utility company that services a wide swath of Midwestern states—including Colorado, another burgeoning state for solar—unveiled yesterday its new Solar*Rewards program, which aims to increase the amount of small-scale solar photovoltaic installations in Minnesota.

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SunEdison, Xcel to Develop 50mW of Solar PV in New Mexico

Posted by Adam Sewall In Wednesday, December 23 2009 under: SunEdison, New Mexico Solar, MEMC, Xcel Energy, Utility Solar

North America's largest solar energy services provider, SunEdison, and Xcel Energy's regional operating company, Southwestern Public Service Company, today announced a deal for five photovoltaic (PV) solar installations in New Mexico. Together the installations will total 50 megawatts (mWs) of solar generation capacity -- enough to power more than 10,000 homes. To be sited in Lea and Eddy counties in southeastern New Mexico, the five 10 mW utility-scale installations should be fully operational by the end of 2011.

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Pending Approval, Xcel to Offer Solar Rebates in Minnesota

Posted by Adam Sewall In Friday, December 18 2009 under: Solar Energy Rebates, Solar Power Info, Minnesota Solar, SRECs, Xcel Energy

Minnesotans looking to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system have reason to be hopeful for the New Year. As we reported on this blog in June, Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy has been developing plans to introduce in Minnesota their Solar Rewards program, its solar rebate initiative already on offer in Colorado and New Mexico. If the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) grants final approval, rebates may become available to homeowners and businesses in 2010.

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Proposed Fee in Colorado Irks Solar Customers

Posted by Adam Sewall In Monday, July 27 2009 under: Colorado Solar, Solar PV Panels, Net Metering, Xcel Energy

Armed with a net-metering agreement and enough grid-tied solar panels, you could literally eliminate your monthly electricity bills. Poof! Gone. But, as this story from KMGH Denver demonstrates, you'd still need the utility's infrastructure to make the arrangement work.

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Xcel May Offer Solar Rebates in Minnesota

A little over a week ago, Xcel Energy publicized details of a three-year program to conserve energy. Under the so-called Conservation Improvement Plan, the Minneapolis-based utility aims to save over 1,100 gigawatt hours of energy between 2010 and 2012. As reported by Reuters,

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The importance of energy efficiency

A lot of what we do here at GetSolar involves helping individuals and businesses answer the following question: Does solar PV make sense for me? The short answer, we usually say, is that there is no single answer -- it depends. The ROI and payback for a particular system are the product of a host of different factors, ranging from the amount of shade that hits your roof, to the types of solar incentives (beyond the 30-percent federal investment tax credit, which is available nationwide) that are offered in your area. The bottom line? In some instances, a solar PV system offers a great return on investment. In other situations, where PV can offer only modest returns, some people still choose go through with their project because they believe it's the right thing to do for the environment, and/or because they want to promote energy independence. Finally, there are scenarios in which solar PV just doesn't make financial sense. Your roof gets no sun. You're a renter. You live in Nebraska (where there are virtually no state-sponsored incentives for solar).

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