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Solar*Rewards - MN

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Solar*Rewards

Get rebates for solar energy in Minnesota

2014 Solar*Rewards Funding Availability

Last Update: 9/29/2014
2014 Program Capacity MW Allocated MW Available
4.6 MW 3.858 MW 0.74 MW

 

Overview

Minnesota customers, are you considering a solar power system to produce renewable energy for your home or business? If so, we can help make it more affordable. Our newly approved 2014 Solar*Rewards® program offers incentives to customers for installing of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.

Reduce your energy bills by producing clean, renewable energy. If you don't use all the solar energy you produce, you'll even get a credit for the excess generation.

Currently, the state of Minnesota offers an additional rebate if you buy solar panels involving Minnesota manufacturers. Review the Made in Minnesota incentive program information through the Minnesota Department of Commerce to learn more. Other rebates, grants or tax credits may be available.

Wondering about the status of the former Solar*Rewards and Minnesota Bonus Programs?

Xcel Energy is no longer accepting new application submissions for the former Solar*Rewards (2013) and Minnesota Bonus (2014) programs.

New Solar*Rewards Performance-based Incentive (2014)

The new Solar*Rewards program offers an incentive based on the kWh production from the PV system, as recorded by the production meter. The incentive is paid annually at $0.08 (8 cents) per kWh produced over 10 years.

Benefits

When you install solar panels through our Solar*Rewards program, you can:

  • Reduce your energy bill with your own renewable energy
  • Receive an annual performance-based incentive to offset installation costs (other rebates and benefits may also be available)
  • Receive credit for excess energy production on your bill
  • Help the environment

When we buy your excess energy, it’s added to the grid which reduces emissions. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a 3.5 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system produces enough clean energy reducing the usage of fossil fuels and preventing emissions equal to a car driving an average of 6,208 miles.

What's the Solar*Rewards performance-based incentive?

When you qualify and install a solar PV system through our Minnesota Solar*Rewards program, you’ll receive an annual performance-based incentive payment of $0.08 (8 cents) per kWh produced by your system.

Excess Generation Bill Credit

When your system produces excess energy, you’ll earn credit on your bill. When your total bill credit amount reaches more than $25, we’ll automatically send you a check for that amount. A credit of less than $25 will be rolled over to your next monthly bill.

Who Qualifies?

To qualify, you must:

  • Be an electric residential or business customer of Xcel Energy in Minnesota.
  • Have not received an incentive under the Solar*Rewards program for another PV system installed at the service address.
  • Ensure that the same PV project is also not a participant in the Made in Minnesota incentive program coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
  • Get preapproval on your solar project through the Solar*Rewards program prior to purchase and installation.
  • Install photovoltaic (PV) solar panels that produce electricity; solar water heating systems do not qualify.
  • Provide an email address (customer) to receive application confirmation and updates through the online application system.
  • Own the PV system and the property/building on which the system will be installed.
  • Agree to connect your system to our electrical grid.
  • Agree to assign the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) produced by the system to Xcel Energy for the term of the 10-year contract.
  • Have completed an online Home Energy Audit through My Account (residential customers) or Online Energy Assessment (business customers) through Xcelenergy.com within the last three years. Other Xcel Energy fee based energy audits also qualify.
  • Sign a 10-year Solar*Rewards contract.
  • Install a system that produces between 0.5 and 20.00kW. Systems of 20.01kW do not qualify.
  • Install a PV system that produces less than 120 percent of the customer’s annual energy use, based on the past 12 months of energy use.
  • Have PV panels and inverters listed on the California Energy Commissions (CEC) list.
  • Installations must be completed within 365 days of submission.

 

How to Get Started

Funding Approval Phase

  1. Verify that your planned system meets all eligibility requirements (see above).
  2. Choose an installer, based on multiple estimates:
  • Your installer can complete the application for you or you can fill it out and designate them as the installer.
  • Installation contractors must first register at the application website. We must approve their registration request. It may take up to five business days to process.
  1. Register and complete the online application at the application website.
  2. Complete the required fields in the Contacts, System Details and Documents and Payments tabs. On the Documents and Payments tab, you are not required to upload the engineering documents or download the Engineering Fee Form and make payment to submit your opportunity for funding approval, but you do need to click on the Submit for Approval button on the bottom of the page.
  3. At this point the application has received the funding, if the customer/system information meets the program requirements and there are funds available in the Solar*Rewards annual budget. You will receive an email from Solar*Rewards when the project is approved for funding.
  4. ESign or download/sign and fax back your acknowledgement letter.

The following steps (7 and 8) are optional at this stage, but you may complete them and submit your payment if you wish to do that at this time.

  1. Download and complete the engineering fee form; include the engineering fee of $250 by check and mail to the address on the fee form.
  2. Submit (upload) a valid line diagram, site plan and testing procedure for engineering review. (If you are doing this in a second time frame from Step 4 above, you will need to hit the Submit for Approval button again.)

Program/Engineering Approval Phase

  1. If you have not paid the engineering fee and uploaded the engineering documents yet, you will need to do that at this stage and Submit for Approval to advance to the Engineering Review stage.
  2. Once engineering has been approved, we update your applications status online to Final Information stage and you will be notified by e-mail.
  3. If your application is declined the Application Fee will not be returned to you unless the associated engineering costs (including, but not limited to approving the line diagram, site plan and testing procedure) have not yet been incurred for the application.

Post-Approval Phase

  1. Complete installation and enter details into the "Final Information" tab.
  2. Upload final documentation.
  • Final electrical inspection
  • Proof of customer's $300,000 minimum personal property liability insurance at the install address
  1. ESign or download/sign and fax back your final contract and M-RETS form.
  2. Schedule installation of production and bi-directional meter and testing. You will receive an e-mail on how to schedule the meter installation/system witness test.

If you have questions, contact the Solar*Rewards team via:

E-mail: SolarProgramMN@xcelenergy.com

Installation Contractors

You can use the installer of your choice or install the system yourself. Confirm that your installer understands our installation requirements and agrees to our guidelines. Some resources to find installers include:

Additional Information

Note: Participation in the Solar*Rewards program requires preapproval of your planned system design before purchase and installation. 

For questions on the Solar*Rewards program, email SolarProgramMN@xcelenergy.com.

For questions about solar energy systems, options and installations, please contact your contractor.

For additional information about solar energy systems and our program, see our FAQs

If you are an installation contractor and would like an installer account, please complete our online application at the application website. You will then be able to complete an application for your customer.

Additional rebates, grants and tax credits for solar energy systems:

  • Made in Minnesota incentive program through the Minnesota Department of Commerce
  • Minnesota Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security

To receive program updates, add your name to our

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Our products and services differ based on state. Please select your state (or the state you're interested in) from the list to the left.

Why do our products and services differ based on state? Because our business is regulated by state. We have regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. The different regulatory body for each state we serve determines what products and services we deliver in that state.