Last week, Xcel Energy gave small business and home participants in its Solar Rewards program 30 hours notice that it would slash what it would pay towards the cost of a small solar power system in the program by 22 percent, Denver Business Journal reports. The utility also announced it was cutting the rate it would pay for renewable energy credits (REC) associated with solar systems of 10 kilowatts or less from $2.50 to $1.50 per watt.
Although many in Colorado’s solar power installation industry expected a change after the $700 billion federal bailout package extended federal tax credits on solar systems by eight years, many were still caught by surprise.
Xcel sent a letter to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission and said that the $2.50 for RECs wasn’t needed because costs for solar systems are dropping and that the bailout plan lifted the $2,000 cap on residential solar power systems.
In September, the company announced plans to build the largest solar power plant in the U.S.