State utilities commission denies solar program expansion
Wednesday's decision follows an appeal by the Colorado Solar Energy Industry Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association to expand the program by 15 megawatts. Commissioners affirmed a May decision saying Xcel should provide a total of 78 megawatts in incentives this year and next year.
Xcel, which serves customers in portions of Larimer and Weld counties, including Greeley, provides rebates for customers who install solar systems.
The commission's decision drew fire from the solar industry, which said its plan would have improved the climate for solar businesses in the state while having "little to no ratepayer impact."
Neal Lurie, executive director of the Colorado solar association, explained that the state already had approved funding for the 15 megawatts in incentives that went unused last year, so they should carry forward to this year.
The industry employs 6,000 people in Colorado, according to solar industry estimates.
"Colorado has invested so much in growing a
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