Minnesota PUC approves new cost-sharing program for residential solar interconnection upgrades

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Namaste Solar

On November 3, 2022, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved a new and innovative Cost Share program for Excel Energy customers who want to connect their solar or other distributed energy projects to the grid. (Docket #18-714). The CostShare program evolved from plans advanced by Fresh Energy and All Energy Solar and TruNorth Solar partners in 2021, and Fresh Energy has been actively involved in this and related dockets over the past year. rice field.

Fresh Energy applauds the Commission’s decision to approve the Cost Share Program and the new amendments that balance the interests of Xcel’s Distributed Energy Resources (DER) customers and other rate payers. The group also commends Commissioner Scherger for paying attention to and prioritizing this important issue.

said Isabel Ricker, Director of Clean Power at Fresh Energy. “This new cost-sharing approach eases the burden of interconnect costs for our customers and will especially benefit resource-strapped customers who have been unable to consider solar in the past because of these costs.”

Currently, most small solar projects connecting to Xcel’s system do not require grid upgrades, but if they do, the average cost per project is around $3,600. Under the newly approved Cost Share program, from January 3, 2023, eligible customers will be required to pay his $200 single fee to customers for projects up to 40 kW, up to $15,000 per project. All upgrade costs in dollars are covered. In addition, resource-poor or “low-income” customers, as designated by the utility, are expressly exempt from paying this fee.

With the passage of the Inflation Relief Act (IRA) and additional federal funding for solar, Fresh Energy expects more residential and commercial customers within Excel Energy’s service territories to install solar, reducing this cost. Sharing programs help reduce the financial uncertainty of infrastructure upgrades. It should be connected to the grid.

This decision is a major step forward in solving one of the major interconnect issues facing Xcel Energy’s customers, and Fresh Energy will continue to provide support for this docket and other interconnect issues on docket #16. , the European Commission, Xcel Energy and photovoltaic producers. -521 including timeliness and customer service.

Notice from Fresh Energy

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