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The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in December 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new version of DSIRE but are also maintaining the content of the current version of DSIRE. Thank you for your continued support and patience during this transition. We hope you are as excited for December as we are!

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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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Xcel Energy - Solar*Rewards Community Program   

Last DSIRE Review: 01/09/2015
Program Overview:
State: Colorado
Incentive Type: Performance-Based Incentive
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Photovoltaics
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Residential, Nonprofit, Local Government, Installer/Contractor, Low-Income Residential
Amount:2013 Standard Offer Program:
Funding has been exhausted; program is closed.
2013 Large RFP Program:
Determined through competitive bid. RFP released on August 1, 2013
Eligible System Size:2 MW maximum size for Large RFP Program
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits:Xcel Energy
Program Budget:6.5 MW - 30 MW of projects per year for 2014-2016
Start Date:08/15/2012
Web Site:

Note: In December 2014, the Public Utilities Commission approved Xcel Energy to acquire between 6.5 MW and 30 MW per year through the Solar*Rewards Community Program in 2014-2016.

Legislation approved in 2010 allowed for the development of "community solar gardens" in Colorado. Under the rules of traditional net metering, a utility customer may offset their electricity consumption with electricity produced by a renewable energy system located on their property. Community solar gardens allow for multiple utility customers to purchase or lease interests in a single photovoltaic (PV) system not located on their property, and to have the electricity produced by their share of the system offset the electricity consumption of their home or business.

Xcel Energy's Solar*Rewards Community Program provides incentives to stimulate the development of community solar gardens in its service territory. Of the total megawatts (MW) of projects dedicated to Solar*Rewards Community annually, a portion will be allocated to standard offers of 500 kilowatts (kW) or less. The remaining MW will be dedicated to the large request for proposal (RFP) program for large (greater than 500 kW) systems, for competitive project development. In 2012-2013, 19 solar gardens were approved though the Standard Offer program and 6 through a RFP program.

The payments shown above are for the renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with the electricity produced by the system. REC payments are awarded to the subscriber organization which develops the project. Subscribing customers will receive bill credits for the amount of electricity produced by their share of the larger system, but will not receive the REC payments.

Community solar gardens must have at least 10 customer subscribers to qualify for this program, and at least 5% of the allocation must be attributed to income-qualified subscribers. No one subscriber can own an interest in more than 40% of a single project. Further, subscribing customers are limited to subscriptions that will produce no more than 120% of their annual electric usage. Subscribers must be Xcel Energy electric customers in the same county as the garden. Subscribers in counties with less than 20,000 population can participate in gardens in adjacent counties that also have populations less than 20,000.

Additional rules apply. See website above for complete details.

  Xcel Solar*Rewards Community Program
Xcel Energy
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.