We are pleased to let you know that the Public Utilities Commission today approved a two-year Solar*Rewards plan that goes a long way towards providing stability to our industry. The commissioners’ oral decision still must be incorporated into a written order, subject to appeals. The commission decided on Solar*Rewards capacity that will provide incentives for at least 42.5 MW of rooftop and community solar per year in 2015 and 2016.

The current settlement terms (4 MW a month for the small program) will remain in place for the rest of 2014. The decision eliminates the need for a separate 2015 RES plan and docket.

The solar capacity levels the commission today set orally are:

  • Small Solar*Rewards capacity of 48 MW, or 24 MW per year for projects under 25 kw. As COSEIA asked, incentive levels will remain stable: 2 cents per Kwh for customer owned and 1 cent per Kwh for third party owned systems.
  • Medium Solar*Rewards capacity of 24 MW, or 12 MW for each 2015 and 2016 with a stable REC price of 5 cents per Kwh. These are projects between 25Kw and 500 Kw.
  • Community solar garden capacity of between 6.5 MW and 30 MW per year. The details of how the amount will be decided need to be clarified.

COSEIA can be proud of our efforts on this docket to convince the commission that the solar industry needs predictability and certainty, along with stable incentive prices.

Although the small program capacity for next year is less than we have been using under the current settlement, it exceeds what Xcel recommended.  And the REC levels are exactly what COSEIA recommended to the Administrative Law Judge.

The commissioners seemed clear that citizens in Colorado want solar energy and that continuing the Solar*Rewards program on an even keel is an important policy directive.