Xcel Energy’s Colorado Plans Have Major Focus On Solar


Xcel Energy has submitted its 2017 Colorado Renewable Energy Plan (REP), a three-year outline that covers several clean energy resources but includes a strong emphasis on solar power.

In its filing with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), Xcel Energy details plans to expand its renewable energy programs and ensure not only continued compliance with the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS), but also a continuation of its efforts to consistently exceed the RPS. The utility says it currently secures more that 22% of its energy needs from renewables and is on track to meet and exceed Colorado’s 30% by 2020 RPS.

“We all share the goal of meeting Colorado’s energy needs in the most reliable, clean, safe and affordable way possible,” says David Eves, president of Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company. “Our plan proposes a three-year roadmap to continue providing even more energy options our customers want and value, and it does so in an economical way while ensuring compliance with our state standards.”

Key proposals in Xcel Energy’s plan include the following:

  • Two customer options for the small Solar*Rewards program, the company’s rooftop solar program, which would add a total of up to 123 MW of small rooftop solar, for systems of 25 kW or less, through 2019. The two options still need to be approved by the CPUC as part of the company’s recently filed Phase II electric rate case;
  • Expansion of the company’s medium-sized solar program, primarily for the business community, which would add up to 54 MW of solar over the next three years. The medium-sized program is for systems of more than 25 kW and 500 kW;
  • Expansion of the large-sized solar program for systems of more than 500 kW. This program has not been offered since 2012 and would add up to 24 MW of solar through 2019;
  • The addition of 90 MW of solar gardens through 2019. Notably, this request is separate from the recently announced 60 MW of community solar proposed for 2016;
  • A decrease in the premium for the company’s long-standing Windsource Program by more than 30%, to $1.50 per block of 100 kW. Customers who support the Windsource program pay a premium over their monthly electric bill to support the development of additional wind facilities; and
  • The offering up to 20 MW per year of recycled energy, made available in an open-offer program. This particular customer offering generally would appeal to large commercial and industrial customers by producing power from waste energy and would generally be sited at manufacturing facilities.

“We know that our customers have different clean energy wants and needs; one size does not fit all. That’s why our plan offers a range of solutions that work well for both residential and business customers, homeowners and renters, non-profit organizations and a wide range of facilities,” state Eves.

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