Minneapolis, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Xcel Energy is now offering incentives to Minnesota electricity customers to install solar panels on top of their homes and businesses. The utility’s Solar*Rewards program will make a one-time payment of $2.25 per installed watt of generating capacity to help off-set the cost to customers who install small or medium rooftop photovoltaic systems.
For an average size residential installation of 3.5 kilowatts or 3,500 watts, the incentive payment would be $7,875, or about 30 percent of the installation costs. In addition to the Solar*Reward incentive, federal, state and local government agencies may provide customers with other rebate opportunities for installations.
Solar*Reward participants must agree to install a system with a capacity of 0.5 kilowatts to 40 kilowatts. In exchange for the incentive payment, ownership of the Renewable Energy Credits 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.
Through Solar*Rewards, Xcel Energy plans to support the installation of about 2 megawatts of solar energy each year for the next three years, or approximately 450 installed systems annually.
“Minnesota is a great resource for solar energy,” said Laura McCarten, Xcel Energy regional vice president. “Our Solar*Rewards program makes it more affordable for residents and business owners interested in this clean, sustainable energy option. The program will benefit both our customers and the environment. One 3.5 kilowatt photovoltaic system produces enough renewable energy to offset the carbon dioxide emissions produced from driving a car more than 6,000 miles. Also, when we buy your excess energy, we’re adding renewable energy to our grid and, therefore, reducing emissions.”
Participants must be Xcel Energy electricity customers in Minnesota with an unshaded south, east or west-facing roof in good condition, and they must agree to have the system interconnected to the grid.