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Xcel, solar groups agree on Colorado incentives

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 6, 2014 at 7:20 pm •  Published: May 6, 2014

DENVER (AP) — Xcel Energy Inc. and two solar industry groups have made a joint proposal to Colorado utility regulators on incentives that encourage customers to put panels on their roofs, they said Tuesday.

In announcing their agreement a day before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission opens hearing on Xcel's renewable-energy policy plan, they made clear the contentious issue of net metering remains unresolved.

Xcel, the Solar Industries Association and the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association called in their agreement for the commission to approve 3 cents per kilowatt-hour of Solar Rewards for customer-owned installations of up to 25 kilowatts, and 1 cent per kilowatt-hour for small installations owned by parties other than the homeowner, keeping the program active pending approval of the overall renewable energy plan.

They also proposed restarting a medium program for solar arrays of between 25 and 500 kilowatts that had been closed since October 2013, when that program's capacity was reached. For the medium program, incentives were proposed of 6 cents per kilowatt-hour for the first 6 megawatts and 5 cents for the final megawatt.

Terry Bote, spokesman for the utility commission, said the commission will set a shortened notice period of 10 days on the agreement at a meeting Wednesday. If the commission decides to shorten the notice period and hears no opposition to the proposed settlement, commissioners could consider the merits of the settlement at a weekly meeting later this month, Bote said.

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