Minnesota’s largest utility needs to transform how the state calculates its trailblazing “worth of solar” rate because it faces a possible spike in payments to solar group operators.
Since 2017, Xcel Energy has paid neighborhood solar tasks based on a value of solar charge, and a quantity meant to extra accurately reflect solar costs and benefits to the grid than retail or wholesale charges.
The figure is updated yearly utilizing a state-approved formula. It fell barely in every of the final two years to about 11 cents per kilowatt-hour, prompting some to query the future of Minnesota’s nation-main group solar program.
Now, though, Xcel says its worth of solar rate is on observe to greater than double to about 25 cents per kWh for tasks coming on-line in 2020 — a result that’s “unreasonable, unrepresentative, and falls outside of the public interest,” based on the utility.
The corporate is asking state regulators for modifications to the system that will moderate the worth swing, one thing solar advocates don’t oppose outright however have disagreements on the details.
The stakes prolong beyond Xcel’s territory, with a minimum of half a dozen different states trying to implement worth of solar charges and likely tracking the outcomes in Minnesota.
“We must get this proper, as a result of we might be a model for the nation,” stated Gabriel Chan, an assistant professor on the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
The Public Utilities Commission has requested stakeholders to remark and counsel potential adjustments to the methodology. Commenters embrace the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association, the state Department of Commerce, IPS Solar and Fresh Power.