What is the Xcel Solar Rewards Program for Minnesota 2014?
I want to help you understand the forthcoming ‘Solar Rewards’ program for Xcel customers in Minnesota. If you have ever considered solar energy for your home or business then utility, state and federal incentives can really make a difference.
•$5 million in funding available annually until 2018.
•Payments for rebates will be paid annually for ten years from installation.
•Rebates will be paid based on the electricity produced – not the capacity.
•You must be a Minnesotan Xcel customer.
•Installer’s must own both the property and the solar system to be installed.
•Install no more than a 20kW system.
This program is intended to drive renewable energy production by the large utility providers (XCEL) in Minnesota that has mandated that 1.5 percent of energy be solar energy by 2020. This is a short time frame considering an estimated 450 megawatts will need to be installed. Just for reference that will be up from approximately 13 megawatts today. That means utilities will encourage solar installation and what better way to do that than to pay you for all the lovely new electricity your system will produce back to the grid for them!
So, we know why Solar rewards is here but what about how it actually works?
This is an ongoing program with a budget of $5 million per year until 2018, however, with Minnesota passing a new solar bill in 2013 adjustments have been made to the previous rebate amounts fortunately for the better.
Of principal importance is the fact that rebates will be paid annually on the actual amount of power produced for ten years and not a one-time fixed price on the capacity, previously paid per watt of the system. Basically, removing the upfront rebate originally given to an incentive that will pay based on the amount of electricity produced.
System sizes will be limited to 20kW or less and can not exceed more than 120 percent of the customer’s annual energy consumption.
The rate to be paid for 2014 is $0.08/kWh. This tariff value is in addition to the reduction in electricity purchases or any power exported back to XCEL energy for which full credit is received (i.e., net metering in addition to the Solar Rewards).
For more information go to: http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=MN138F
Please call Energy Concepts Inc. for specific application questions for your project.