Though snowbound in winter, Colorado can also be famous for its sunny skies. In reality, Pueblo Colorado ties seventh place as the sunniest US metropolis, in accordance with NOAA’s annual common % attainable sunshine ranking, with a mean of 76%. Only Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas have sunnier cities.
It’s no marvel, then, that Colorado ranks excessive in the US for put in solar power capability. In accordance with the US Solar Energy Industries Affiliation (SEIA), Colorado ranks #9 in its rating of the top 10 states for complete put in photo voltaic capability. Growing 117% over 2014, 146 megawatts (MW) of photo voltaic have been installed in 2015 alone, making Colorado’s current complete 599 MW.
Colorado ranks number 9 in SEIA’s Prime 10 States for complete put in solar capacity. Credit score: SEIA.org
At 599 MW, this is enough solar power installed in Colorado to energy 114,000 houses. SEIA tasks that, over the subsequent 5 years, Colorado will set up another 1,878 MW of solar capacity, greater than 5 occasions the quantity of solar put in in Colorado in the final 5 years. Over 382 corporations contribute to the complete worth chain in Colorado’s photo voltaic market, employing almost 5,000 individuals.
Following photo voltaic investments within the state, $305 million was invested in photo voltaic installation during 2015, representing a 44% improve over 2014. Vital progress in photo voltaic investments in Colorado for 2016 can also be expected.
Google map of solar suppliers in Colorado. Click on picture for interactive map at SEIA.org
At present, Xcel Energy has around 370 MW of Colorado’s 599 MW solar energy on its system, and roughly 230 MW of that comes from rooftop PV methods. This excessive proportion of power provides Xcel Energy quite an advantage on the subject of driving Colorado’s solar charges and insurance policies. Up to now few years, Xcel has been beating the warfare drums, trying to influence Colorado’s Public Utilities Fee (CPUC) to scale back benefits being realized by rooftop solar clients.
In August 2015, solar advocates in Colorado believed their newest troubles have been finally over when a year-long debate over internet metering ended with no price reductions. However it was clear the battle was not but over when Xcel introduced a proposed grid-use payment last spring. Organized on a sliding scale, the proposed payment ranged from $2.62 per 30 days for patrons utilizing fewer than 200 kWh per 30 days, to $44.79 for consumption of 1,401 kWh or extra per thirty days. It additionally proposed decreasing the purchasers’ volumetric charge to assist offset the fastened value improve.
Solar proponents rallied as soon as once more and argued that “the rate proposal would undermine the economic benefits of installing residential solar by introducing an unavoidable fee and lowering the per-kilowatt-hour charge, which decreases the net metering credit solar customers receive for excess electricity sent back to the grid.”
- 1 Current Solar Costs in Colorado
- 2 Colorado’s Enlightened Future With Group Solar Gardens
- 3 Colorado’s Celebrated Solar Settlement of August 2016 (Warning: #InsideSolarBaseball)
- 4 Colorado’s Solar Incentives (Super #InsideSolarBaseball)
- 5 Notable Solar Installations in Colorado
- 6 Solar Corporations in Colorado
- 7 Further Hyperlinks for Colorado State Solar Assets
Current Solar Costs in Colorado
The SEIA reviews that installed solar PV system prices within the US have dropped by 12% from last yr and 66% from 2010. In 2016, the newest knowledge signifies that the typical installed value of photo voltaic within the US is slightly below $3.50/watt for residential and $2.00/watt for business installations.
In fact, everyone’s wants are unique, so it is all the time greatest to get a customized solar quote, but at $three.50/watt, because of this in Colorado it presently costs about $17,500 to purchase an average-size (5 kW) system. The federal ITC of 30% will scale back this out-of-pocket value by about $5,250, and you may anticipate a further financial savings of about $1,224/yr ($102/mo) in estimated power savings. This complete reduction works out to be about $6,474, so the first-year value of putting in a 5 kW photo voltaic PV system can be around $11,026.
Granted, the month-to-month power financial savings estimate is predicated on 2011 knowledge, but over the course of 20 years this nonetheless works out to be about $24,480, or a internet achieve of about $12,230 for a 5 kW system put in in 2016. That’s an amazing return on your investment and we didn’t even calculate the extra achieve you may make promoting your extra electricity back to the utility beneath Colorado’s present internet metering price of $zero.1243 kWh in accordance with EIA!
And what’s more, even for those who don’t stay in your home for the complete 20 years, the gross sales value of your property will increase considerably from the primary moment your photo voltaic system is put in. Based on a research by the Lawrence Berkeley Nationwide Laboratory (LBNL), every kilowatt of solar put in on your roof will improve your house’s gross sales worth by a mean of $5,911. A 5 kW system will add $29,555 to your property’s value, so even in the event you sell after one yr, you can probably pay off your ($11,026) solar system and still make $18,529 in your investment!
Colorado’s Enlightened Future With Group Solar Gardens
As an enlightened source of power in a nation increasingly difficult shoppers of solar power, Colorado is blazing a shiny path to a clean, renewables future. It’s been blazing this trail since 2004, as the primary state to adopt a Renewable Energy Normal. Tirelessly carving a trail by means of political skirmishes and scuffles, Colorado has served as a photo voltaic power information to new business fashions — most lately turning into a pioneer within the shared solar power market.
In January 2016, the Colorado Energy Office (CEO) and GRID Options launched a pilot optimizing the group solar mannequin to scale back power prices for low-income clients. The pilot proposed 5 demonstration tasks, building a total of 579 kW of shared solar, or group photo voltaic gardens (CSGs).
Colorado Energy Workplace Director Jeff Ackermann said, “Colorado has always been a leader in renewable energy, and now we take another innovative step forward as we create community solar models that are more affordable and available to Colorado rural electric cooperatives and the low-income communities they serve.”
CSGs present access to solar power era for renters, individuals dwelling in multi-family housing, or who will not be capable of reap the benefits of photo voltaic for any variety of different causes, together with roof circumstances and shady places, however especially low revenue.
And, if accepted by Colorado’s PUC, VoteSolar’s Rick Gilliam noted, the current settlement settlement reached this past August will considerably increase photo voltaic access throughout the state, especially amongst low-income shoppers.
The new settlement will add to Colorado’s already successful CSG shared photo voltaic program in several key ways, together with that Xcel will take on a 5% low-income participation requirement and there may even be an incremental four MW/yr CSG program providing 100% low-income participation.
Gilliam defined, “Affordable solar offers an exciting opportunity to address some of the biggest financial and health challenges facing low-income families.”
Right now, in line with Shared Renewables HQ, 14 states and Washington, DC have insurance policies in place for shared renewables and CSGs, and lots of more states are working to broaden access to shared renewable power assets.
Take a look at this quick Youtube clip from Colorado News Channel 13 about Colorado’s Solar Gardens:
Colorado’s Celebrated Solar Settlement of August 2016 (Warning: #InsideSolarBaseball)
Finally reaching a settlement agreement in August 2016, the Xcel’s proposed grid charge was killed and internet metering was as soon as again saved from manipulation. As an alternative, in response to the settlement, the utility “will institute time-of-use rates on a trial basis in anticipation of moving to time-of-use rates as the default rate design for residential customers.”
The time-of-use (TOU) price pilot proposes to assist Xcel assign an applicable value for electricity that’s produced when it’s most useful. New voluntary packages will probably be provided to as much as 20,000 clients in 2017. In 2018, it is going to be extended to 34,000 clients, and to 48,000 clients in 2019. The outcomes of the pilot program will probably be studied for broad implementation of TOU charges in 2020.
Greater than 24 parties signed on to the agreement, together with Colorado Public Utilities Fee employees; the Office of Shopper Counsel; several clear power, shopper, and environmental teams; Walmart; VoteSolar; and the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA).
COSEIA Board President John Bringenberg said, “This settlement signals cooperation rather than confrontation, which COSEIA believes is the most productive way to advance solar, allow citizens and companies to own clean energy rather than rent dirty fossil fuel, and impact catastrophic climate change.” He famous, “We must work with Xcel and other stakeholders to support the competitive solar industry.”
The CPUC is predicted to make a ultimate determination on the settlement filing by the top of 2016. It isn’t unanimously supported, and a few teams that signed on have requested some modifications. For example, Xcel’s proposed Solar*Connect program has been requested to be modified to Renewable*Connect. This program would permit Xcel to build a solar plant up to 50 MW in measurement and promote shares of the power to the general public.
The settlement settlement additionally modified Xcel’s 2017 Renewable Energy Plan, calling for increasing clear power assets in a “measured and economically reasonable way.” Adding 225 MW of photo voltaic capability to Xcel’s Solar*Rewards program from 2017–2019, the settlement specifies 123 MW should come from small-scale photo voltaic tasks.
Over the identical three-year interval, the settlement also requests as much as 105 MW of group photo voltaic gardens (CSGs) be developed, carving out a further 12 MW for low-income clients. This provides as much as a complete of 342 MW of latest solar capacity slated for installment in 2017–2019.
Limited numbers of low-income solar program members shall be provided solar rooftops, coupled with the Colorado Energy Office’s weatherization program that leverages DOE funding, and Xcel will even provide a $2/W rebate. With a complete of 300 members, the low-income solar program might be provided to 75 individuals in 2017, 100 in 2018, and 125 members in 2019.
Alice Jackson, Xcel Energy’s regional vice chairman for charges and regulatory affairs, hailed the current settlement settlement. “It will allow us to meet our customers’ expectations” she said, “by giving them more control over their energy choices. It will bring more renewable and carbon-free energy to Colorado through the use of new technologies, and it will provide affordable and reliable energy to further power the state’s economy.”
Likewise encouraged, Rick Gilliam, Vote Solar’s Program Director of DG Regulatory Policy said, “Colorado is already a leader in many ways when it comes to our nation’s growing solar economy.” He continued, “This settlement means more good news for Colorado. It will ensure that more of the state’s energy consumers will have the opportunity to benefit from the local jobs, energy bill savings, and cleaner air that solar delivers.”
Gilliam continued, “The agreement also recognizes the importance of good regulatory process through a series of subsequent stakeholder workshops in several important technical and policy areas when deciding these critical solar issues. We look forward to participating in those future conversations to help keep Colorado shining.”
The following is an in-depth exploration of the state of solar power in Colorado. Please be happy to offer additional contributions in the comments, under.
Colorado’s Solar Incentives (Super #InsideSolarBaseball)
Obtainable inside every state of the US, the federal photo voltaic funding tax credit (ITC) provides credit from the federal authorities of as much as 30% of a photo voltaic set up’s complete prices. Nevertheless, this credit score can solely be taken full advantage of if in case you have that much tax legal responsibility in the tax yr. The present regulation extends the federal ITC by means of 2019 and will probably be phased out after that.
Company depreciation incentives are additionally obtainable for business, in addition to a Enterprise Energy Funding Tax Credit (ITC-1603), and a Renewable Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit score (PTC).
The following is a restricted choice of state photo voltaic power incentives listed for Colorado within the DSIRE Incentives Database. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) website is operated by the N.C. Clear Energy Know-how Middle at N.C. State College and provides up-to-date, complete public info on particular solar power incentives throughout the US, including state and federal policies, packages, and incentives.
Colorado’s Internet Metering Program Overview — Final up to date: 08/27/2015
• Eligible Renewable/Different Applied sciences: Geothermal Electrical, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Photovoltaics, Wind (All), Biomass, Hydroelectric, Wind (Small), Hydroelectric (Small), Gasoline Cells utilizing Renewable Fuels
• Relevant Sectors: Business, Industrial, Native Authorities, Nonprofit, Residential, Faculties, State Government, Low Revenue Residential, Institutional
• Relevant Utilities: All utilities (besides municipal utilities with lower than 5,000 clients)
• System Capacity Limit: IOU clients: 120% of the client’s average annual consumption.
Municipality and co-op clients: 25 kW for non-residential; 10 kW for residential.
• Combination Capacity Restrict: No limit specified. Group solar gardens: 6 MW/yr for 2011-2013; set by PUC thereafter
• Internet Extra Era: Credited to buyer’s next bill at retail price. After 12-month cycle, IOU clients might choose to roll over credit score indefinitely or to obtain cost at IOU’s common hourly incremental value. Municipality and co-ops provide annual reconciliation at a price they deem applicable.
• Ownership of Renewable Energy Credit: Customer owns RECs
• Meter Aggregation: Allowed for IOU clients. Group solar gardens are allowed
Word: Colorado’s Public Utilities Commission opened a proceeding (14M-0235E) in March 2014 for contemplating modifications to internet metering and different issues associated to retail renewable distributed era. Nevertheless, this docket was closed in August 2015 after the Commission voted to maintain the current internet metering guidelines.
Eligibility and Availability: Internet metering was adopted by the Colorado PUC in December 2005. Utilities must provide internet metering service at non-discriminatory charges to customer-generators. Utilities should provide a single bi-directional meter free of cost to customer-generators who do not already personal one. A second meter is required for techniques over 10 kW to measure output for the counting of renewable power credit (RECs).
Internet Excess Era: Month-to-month internet extra era (NEG) is applied on a 1-for-1 basis as a kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit to the client’s next bill. At the end of the yr, or upon termination, the NEG have to be reimbursed to the client by the utility at the newest yr’s common hourly incremental value.
Internet metering clients might choose to have their NEG carried forward from month-to-month indefinitely, but this one-time only choice have to be executed in writing on or before the top of the calendar yr. It’s a reasonably dangerous concept, although, as a result of all kWh credit carried ahead will probably be lost upon terminating service with the utility.
Renewable Energy Credit: Customer-generators retain possession of RECs associated with power generated by the customer-generator’s system. Utilities might acquire RECs by purchasing them from customer-generators vis an ordinary supply with a minimum term of 20 years if the system is lower than 100 kW.
Meter Aggregation: A customer with multiple meter situated on contiguous property can select to have their generator offset the load measured at multiple meter. Aggregating meters underneath internet metering requires that each one affected meters have to be on the same price schedule and wishes a 30-day discover to the utility, specifying the order by which kWh credit shall be applied to the multiple meters.
Municipal Utilities and Electrical Cooperatives: Colorado regulation enacted in March 2008 (H.B. 1160) requires all electric coops as well as all municipal utilities with over 5,000 clients to supply internet metering for residential techniques as much as 10 kW and business and industrial methods up to 25 kW. NEG follows the identical rules as above, receiving 1-for-1 credit in following months, and reimbursed on the finish of an annual interval.
Colorado’s Internet Metering Coverage for Group Solar Gardens:
Eligibility and Availability: Colorado enacted the Group Solar Gardens (CSGs) Act in 2010, permitting for the creation of CSGs of as much as 2 megawatts in an IOU’s service territory (H.B. 1342). H.B. 15-1377 was enacted in 2015, specifying that CSGs could be situated in an electrical coop’s service territory and used for complying with the retail distributed era necessities of Colorado’s Renewable Energy Commonplace.
CSGs may be owned by a nonprofit, for-profit group, or even the utility itself, however should have no less than 10 subscribers, until the CSG is within the territory of an electric coop and the system measurement is beneath 50 kW. Subscribers can buy as much as 40% of the electrical energy produced by the array, receiving kWh credit on their utility bills relative to the subscription amount. Until owned by a low-income subscriber, CSG subscriptions have to be for at the least 1 kW. Not more than 120% of the subscriber’s annual power consumption could also be provided by the CGS. H.B. 15-1284, enacted Might 2015, added the observe that the CSG subscribers have to be “located in the service territory of the same qualifying retail utility and also in the same county as, or a county adjacent to, that of the community solar garden.”
Internet Extra Era: If a CSG subscriber has a NEG in a month-to-month billing interval, the credit will offset future consumption, rolling over from month-to-month indefinitely till the client terminates service with the IOU, at which era any remaining billing credit expire.
Combination Cap: Since 2015, IOUs began buying renewable power from CSGs as part of their renewable portfolio normal compliance plan. Also, a minimal of 5% of an IOU’s purchases from CSGs have to be reserved for subscribers in low-income brackets.
Links to Further Colorado State Solar Incentives:
• Renewable Energy Property Tax Evaluation Last up to date: 10/07/2015
• Property Tax Exemption for Residential Renewable Energy Gear Final up to date: 07/23/2015
• Native Choice — Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Techniques Last updated: 10/08/2015
• Property Tax Exemption for Group Solar Gardens Final updated: 07/21/2015
• Gross sales and Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Gear Last updated: 07/21/2015
• Local Choice — Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Methods Final updated: 10/08/2015
• Metropolis of Boulder — Solar Sales and Use Tax Rebate Last up to date: 01/25/2016
• Effectivity Works — Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program (Provided by 5 Utilities) Last up to date: 07/08/2015
• Efficiency Works — Enterprise Energy Effectivity Rebate Program (Provided by 5 Utilities) Last up to date: 07/06/2015
• EZ Funding Tax Credit Refund for Renewable Energy Tasks Last updated: 10/30/2015
• C-PACE: Colorado Business Property Assessed Clean Energy Last up to date: 06/10/2016
• Metropolis of Boulder — Solar Grant Program Final updated: 02/12/2016
• Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Faculties Mortgage Last up to date: 07/21/2015
• Xcel Energy — Residential Energy Effectivity Financing Last up to date: 06/22/2016
• Xcel Energy — Business Energy Efficiency Financing Last up to date: 06/22/2016
• Xcel Energy — Solar*Rewards Program Final up to date: 06/27/2016
• Xcel Energy — Solar*Rewards Group Program Final updated: 03/15/2016
• Black Hills Energy — Solar Energy Program Last up to date: 03/25/2016
Time-of-Use Charges in Colorado
With Xcel’s settlement agreement in August 2016 to withdraw its proposed grid-use charge, the utility said that, as an alternative, it “will institute time-of-use rates on a trial basis in anticipation of moving to time-of-use rates as the default rate design for residential customers.”
New voluntary packages can be launched by Xcel Energy for as much as 20,000 clients in 2017, 34,000 in 2018, and 48,000 in 2019. These packages can be rigorously followed and studied for a broader TOU program to be launched in 2020. In accordance with VoteSolar, clients who choose into the check TOU program may have a 2-month window to cancel in the event that they don’t prefer it.
Lauren Randall, Sunrun’s senior manager of public coverage, said that she sees time-of-use rates as a “beneficial compromise” versus altering internet metering charges and adding new fees. Randall stated, “We think moving forward this could be a model for utilities and solar companies collaborating on rates that are good for consumers who want more energy choice.” She additionally famous that TOU charges profit all ratepayers “by producing energy when the grid needs it.”
Extra hearings are ongoing, but the Colorado PUC anticipates a remaining determination on this latest settlement by the top of 2016.
Colorado’s (Promising) Energy Storage Program
The adoption and integration of distributed power storage are making regular progress in Colorado. A panel discussion in April 2015 held by the Colorado Public Utilities Fee (CPUC) investigated a broad range of power storage subjects. Individuals delved into such points as costs, economics, anticipated progress price, and regulatory modifications relevant to power storage strategies for residential, business, and industrial clients.
Electrical Power Analysis Institute’s (EPRI) Energy Storage Program Senior Undertaking Manager Ben Kaun outlined the useful features provided with power storage. Kaun emphasised that power storage features as a “capacity resource, supporting the grid through flexible ramping, voltage control, and renewable integration, and providing grid reliability and resiliency services.”
SolarCity’s Ryan Hanley outlined the trending decline in battery prices, and improve in customer interest in using storage techniques with photo voltaic installations. Hanley described SolarCity as “bullish on energy storage,” and reported that the corporate anticipates all solar PV installations will embrace a storage element by 2020. Hanley emphasized to the Commission that insurance policies are needed to acknowledge the complete advantage of distributed storage and allow individuals to profit from those advantages. He additionally pointed out the need for a widespread deployment of sensible inverters to make sure the fullest vary of advantages from distributed power storage.
Following up on this panel dialogue, the CPUC accredited Xcel Energy’s request final spring to launch two power storage demonstration tasks. The settlement agreement, signed in March 2016, approved Xcel to take a position $9.1 million for the two tasks that may check power storage purposes, considered one of which can embrace a microgrid strategy, as properly.
Generally known as the Panasonic Challenge, the first check will function a utility-scale solar era plant with one giant battery installed by Xcel near Denver Worldwide Airport. The Panasonic Venture can be related to the regional grid but may have the potential to function as a microgrid, as nicely.
Generally known as the Stapleton Venture, the second software will function 6 batteries installed on the client aspect of the meter at houses with rooftop photo voltaic already current. Xcel may even set up another 6 batteries on that area’s feeder line which receives vital electrical energy flowing from distributed era. These batteries will probably be purposely utilized for storing extra power to be discharged during peak load hours.
All the resulting info and knowledge from these two tasks might be made publicly obtainable. The PUC noted that milestone studies will provide larger public visibility, “ensuring that costs for the projects would be appropriately vetted in a future rate proceeding, and assuring that all resulting data and information that would benefit the public will be made available to the PUC and the public as a whole.”
Xcel Energy said that it is going to be “evaluating the capabilities of batteries installed on distribution feeders to regulate voltage, reduce peak demand, and reduce energy costs for the benefit of all the company’s customers.”
Credit score: OurSolarRights.org
Notable Solar Installations in Colorado
• Alamosa Solar Producing Undertaking — accomplished in 2012 by developer Cogentrix. This concentrating photovoltaics challenge has the capability to generate 30 MW of electricity — sufficient to energy over 5,400 Colorado houses.
• Hooper Solar Undertaking — At 50 MW, Hooper Solar Challenge is among the larger solar installations in Colorado. Completed in 2016 by SunPower, this PV challenge produces sufficient electrical capability to power over 9,500 houses.
• Kohl’s, REI, Safeway, Walmart, and Intel — These are among the many bigger retailers in Colorado which have gone solar. Intel has installed one of many largest corporate photovoltaic techniques in the state with 1,000 kW of photo voltaic capability at their location in Fort Collins.
Intel Workplaces in Fort Collins Colorado. Credit: Google maps screenshot
Solar Corporations in Colorado
In accordance with SEIA, there are presently over 382 solar corporations employed throughout the worth chain in Colorado, ranging from photo voltaic system producers to system installers. The following is an incomplete listing of photo voltaic installers in Colorado, chosen and listed based mostly on excessive customer critiques and proposals:
Solar PV System Installers in Colorado:
470 East 76th Avenue, Unit 3A, Denver, CO 80229
15690 Parkerhouse Street, Parker, CO 80134
SunPower by Photon Brothers
3221 W Hampden Ave Sheridan, CO 80110
4571 Broadway Road, Boulder, CO 80304
Unbiased Energy Techniques
1501 Lee Hill Street, #24, Boulder, CO 80304
11533 East Alaska Avenue, Aurora, CO 80012
500 South Arthur Avenue, Suite 400, Lousiville, CO 80027
512 Ponderosa Drive, Boulder, CO 80303
Merely Efficient, LLC (Solar & Wind)
7717 West sixth Avenue, Suite F, Lakewood, CO 80214
Southard Solar Energy
625 70th Ave, Unit # 5, Denver, CO 80229
9900 E 51st Avenue, Denver, CO 80238
Stellar Roofing and Solar
4020 Youngfield Road, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
2341 E Arizona Avenue, Denver, CO 80210
Sunlight Solar Energy, Inc. (Colorado Branch)
384 Backyard of the Gods Street, #150, Colorado Springs, CO 80907
(Please be happy to add your personal suggestions and/or critiques within the feedback, under!)
Colorado State Energy Office – Discover a wide variety of data on state government power packages, policy, tasks, energy-saving methods and energy-related statistics
Colorado State Legislature – Monitor pending legislation affecting photo voltaic power, locate and get in touch with individual legislators, and keep up to date on current legislative points in Colorado
Colorado Public Utilities Commisssion – Study concerning the governing body that regulates the electricity charges and providers of California public utilities
DSIRE Incentives Database – Colorado – Search a public clearinghouse for specific photo voltaic power incentives in Colorado and throughout the USA
U.S. Energy Info Administration – Colorado State Profile – Explore official power statistics, including knowledge on electrical energy supply and demand, from the U.S. authorities
Colorado Solar Energy Industries Affiliation – Nonprofit affiliation main Colorado’s photo voltaic business.