Colorado holds hearing on Xcel's solar panel plan
DENVER (AP) — Colorado's Public Utilities Commission is reviewing Xcel Energy's plans for ensuring solar and other renewable sources remain part of the state's power mix as regulators debate rules for compliance with a renewable energy law approved by voters.
A key issue at Monday's public comment session is expected to be an Xcel proposal for what it calls more transparency on who gains and loses financially when rooftop solar is fed into the grid.
With utilities across the country challenging what is known as net metering as too costly, proponents of solar energy see Xcel's proposal as a possible first step toward reducing what rooftop solar producers are paid.
Colorado was the first state in the nation to adopt a renewable energy standard by a vote of the people. After four consecutive years of failing in the Legislature, the measure was taken to the ballot through a citizen's initiative in 2004.
Amendment 37 created a renewable standard for investor-owned utilities to be achieved by 2015. The measure also established net metering and interconnection standards for major utilities and programs for solar generation.
Minneapolis-based Xcel operates in eight states. Coloradoans make up nearly half its 3.4 million electricity customers.