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Xcel Energy lights up Solar*Rewards program

Incentive pays for 30 percent of home photovoltaic projects

Xcel Energy announced Monday the launch of incentives for Minnesota electricity customers to install solar panels on top of their homes and businesses.

The Minneapolis-based utility’s Solar*Rewards program, designed to encourage solar energy growth in the state, includes a one-time payment of $2.25 per installed watt of generating capacity to help offset the cost of customers installing small or medium roof-top photovoltaic systems.

For a 3.5 kilowatt residential installation, or 3,500 watts, a customer would receive an incentive payment of $7,875, or about 30 percent of the project’s cost. In addition to the Solar*Reward incentive, federal, state and local government agencies could provide customers with other rebate opportunities.

To qualify, Solar*Reward participants must agree to install a system with a capacity of between 0.5 kilowatts to 40 kilowatts. In exchange for the incentive payment, ownership of the renewable energy credits, or RECs, produced by the system will transfer to Xcel Energy for a term of 20 years. Xcel Energy will also buy any energy that a system produces in excess of the customer’s needs.

Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards plans support the installation of about 2 megawatts of solar energy each year for the next three years, or approximately 450 installed systems each year.

Participants must be Xcel Energy customers living in Minnesota with an un-shaded south, east or west-facing roof in good condition. Customers who participate must agree to have their system connected to the grid. For more program details or to apply, visit www.xcelenergy.com/solar