Thursday, February 25, 2016

Xcel Energy to Add Up to 60 MW of Solar Garden Capacity in 2016 | TDWorld

Xcel Energy and solar developers have announced an agreement that will continue to give Colorado customers the ability to access solar generation through the company's successful Solar*Rewards Community program.

Xcel Energy, Clean Energy Collective, Community Energy Inc. and SunShare filed a settlement with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to add up to 60 MW of community solar in Colorado through a request for proposals in 2016. A community solar garden is a community-shared solar array, with grid-connected subscribers, which allows consumers to access the benefits of solar energy without needing to install rooftop systems.

In the agreement, Xcel Energy also committed to participate in ownership of up to 4 megawatts of community solar, which will exclusively serve low-income customers and non- profit 501(c)(3) organizations.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Landmark Community Solar Initiative Moves Forward In Maryland | CleanTechnica

  • 30% of the dedicated community solar capacity will be set aside for low and moderate income projects, ensuring communities of all income levels will have the opportunity to reap the benefits of solar energy
  • Full retail rate credit for subscribed solar energy, ensuring community solar participants receive the same economic benefits as traditional net metering customers
  • Community solar project development will be set aside at brownfield sites, encouraging a positive use of environmentally damaged property
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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Negative Prices Require Positive Changes in Community Solar | Greentech Media

Last fall, it was disclosed that renewable energy credit (REC) prices in the Colorado Solar Gardens program have turned negative -- that is, developers have submitted bids that require them to pay the utility to take the RECs generated by their projects.

How could this be?

Does it mean RECs fundamentally have no value? Or maybe that participating retail customers don't value solar energy from community solar projects? No and no. Negative REC prices in the Solar Gardens program are a direct result of a complicated web of regulatory guidance and program design in Colorado that distorts REC pricing.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Coalition for Community Solar Access

Leading energy companies in the solar market today announced the formation of the Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA), the first-ever national trade association for community solar.

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Why community solar is becoming big business | GreenBiz

What is community solar?

At the most basic level, the term refers to a renewably powered energy system that benefits multiple members of a community — a middle ground between individual rooftop installations and utility-scale solar arrays.

But who owns the panels, who can claim the financial or environmental benefits of the project, and how big and how far away from the end user can a community solar system ultimately be?

"It means a lot of different things to different people," said Amit Ronen, a professor of public policy at George Washington University and director of the GW Solar Institute. "It boils down a lot of times to this fight between utility-scale solar and distributed solar."

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