Saturday, May 10, 2014

Xcel's Solar*Connect: More Options Or A New Battlefront In The War On Solar? | Solar Industry

Former Colorado PUC staffer Rich Mignogna, who presided over the workshops that preceded the rule making for the Community Solar Gardens Act, sounds off about the proposed XCEL large scale solar program.

One thing he suggests is expanding who may subscribe to a given solar garden (currently limited to those within the same county as the solar array).  This would certainly make solar subscriptions available to more people, and increase competition; the local monopolies that exist in many Colorado counties and utility service area may lead to higher prices for subscribers.  It would, however, lead to a preponderance of solar gardens being located in high-sun areas like the Pueblo area and the San Luis Valley.

- Joy


On April 3, Xcel Energy in Colorado - a.k.a., Public Service Co. of Colorado - submitted an application to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for approval to begin a solar energy-based green pricing program dubbed Solar*Connect. Xcel customers may recognize this as a solar version of its existing Windsource program - another green pricing offering with a checkered history.

Those who have been following the net metering wars know that Colorado is one of the current battleground states, and this application must be viewed in the context of that battle. If you cut through the spin, it becomes clear that this is yet another salvo in Xcel's war on not only the small distributed generation (DG) solar generator, but on community solar gardens (CSG) as well.

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