News from Community Power
The PUC adopted a “Value of Solar” rate for Community Solar Gardens subscribers, effective 1/1/2017. This is supposed to increase pricing transparency and reduce risk for subscribers.
The PUC had previously made the Value of Solar rate optional, but Xcel Energy chose not to use it. Subscribers to community solar projects already in the application queue before 2017 will be compensated at today’s Applicable Retail Rates.
While the current "Value of Solar" provides lower compensation to Community Solar Garden subscribers than today’s rates, this PUC ruling is less damaging than the 3 to 4 cents/ KWh Xcel Energy was proposing, which was not high enough to support residential participation in Community Solar.
The PUC has instructed the Department of Commerce (DOC) to come up with plan for a “residential adder” and a “low income adder” (basically an addition of several cents per kilowatt hour to the compensation given to subscribers) to the Value of Solar rates in order for Minnesota’s Community Solar Program to fulfill its legislative intent of accessibility.
Their deadline for this is March 1, 2017. Yet another delay for getting more solar online in Minnesota.