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Xcel must retain Solar Rewards Program

Xcel must retain Solar Rewards Program Click to Enlarge Photo:

Oct 2, 2012 at 6:46 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KNSI) Minnesota regulators have ordered Xcel Energy Inc. to retain a program that subsidizes small solar-power projects.

State Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman decided Monday that the Minneapolis-based utility must retain its Solar Rewards program at the current $5 million-a-year level for the next three years.

Minnesota's solar industry had feared a drop in orders if the program ended.

So far, the program has helped 560 homeowners and businesses afford solar-panel systems since 2010.

Xcel wanted to drop Solar Rewards after 2013, saying it was not a good deal for ratepayers.

The state commerce department's energy resources division in August had recommended retaining Solar Rewards for now, and replacing it after 2015.

Rothman also agreed to reduce the incentive from $2.25 per kilowatt-hour to $1.50 per kilowatt-hour.

Mike Tanner

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