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Xcel Energy has opened - and closed - its Solar*Rewards Community standard offer, which is intended to provide solar power opportunities to customers that previously could not access existing programs in Colorado.

After the program was opened, all available capacity was reserved in approximately 30 minutes. Xcel Energy was seeking approximately 4.5 MW of generation from systems no larger than 500 kW. The utility received about three times that amount in applications within approximately 30 minutes after the program opened. Acceptance of applications ended after an hour.

Developers, known as subscriber organizations, will install community solar gardens and receive production incentives from Xcel Energy. They, in turn, will market, sell or lease shares of the garden to subscribing customers in their communities under terms and conditions they create, Xcel Energy explains.

A request for proposals for a second version of the program, for projects between 500 kW to 2 MW, opened Monday. Bids will be accepted through Sept. 14.

"Participants in our Solar*Rewards Community program will pay their fair share of costs associated with the transmission and distribution of their energy, instead of avoiding these costs through net metering," notes David Eves, president and CEO of Public Service Co. of Colorado, an Xcel Energy company.



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