Xcel May Offer Solar Rebates in Minnesota
A little over a week ago, Excel Energy publicized details of athree-year program to conserve energy. Under the so-called ConservationImprovement Plan, the Minneapolis-based utility aims to save over 1,100gigawatt hours of energy between 2010 and 2012. As reported by Reuters,
The company said in a release the plan would save moneyfor customers and conserve enough energy to eliminate the need for amedium-sized power plant that would emit 1 million metric tons ofcarbon dioxide.
Xcel said its proposal complies with the state’s Next GenerationEnergy Act of 2007, designed to bolster investments in renewable power,increase energy conservation and decrease Minnesota’s contribution toglobal warming.
Of particular interest for Minnesota Xcel customers looking to getsolar is the prospect of solar rebates. The proposed SolarRewardsprogram would provide rebates to customers who install solarphotovoltaic (PV) systems up to 40 kilowatts (kW) in size. While Xceldid not announce the exact rebate amounts, the company’s SolarRewardsprogram in Colorado currently allocates rebates as follows:
- Small systems (0.5 kW – 10 kW) receive a solar rebate of$2.00/watt, plus a renewable energy certificate (REC) payment of up to$1.50/watt
- Medium systems (10 kW – 100 kW) get a solar panel rebate of$2.00/watt plus an REC payment of $0.115 for each kWh of electricitygenerated, typically over a contract term of 20 years
- Large systems (100 kW – 2 megawatts) are eligible for aproduction-based incentive, pending acceptance via a request forproposal process
A big purchasers of renewable electricity generation, Xcel Energyhas regulated electricity operations in eight western and mid-westernstates: Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, SouthDakota, New Mexico and Texas.
Also of interest to MN residents is a recent report from the Pew Charitable Trusts showing strong growth in green jobs in Minnesota:
In Minnesota, the study found that clean-energy jobsgrew 11.9 percent between 1998 and 2007, six times faster than thestate’s overall job growth of 1.9 percent.
The report said green-energy job growth certainly slowed with theoverall economy in 2008, for which employment statistics aren’t yetavailable, but probably kept its lead over other sectors.
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