August 2021 IPS Newsletter
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Colorado’s Xcel Energy to Increase Ratepayer’s Electric Bill
If you are living in Colorado, there are a few recent changes to Xcel Energy’s utility services that are important to be aware of. As noted in a recent press release, on July 2nd Xcel made a request to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to approve a rate plan increase that would increase Xcel’s net revenue by over $343 million. This increase would raise Colorado Xcel customer’s electric bill by about 13% in 2022. They justify this increase for ratepayers by suggesting the need to invest in clean energy sources, making the grid more resilient, and increasing the grid capacity. However, all of these needs are renewable energy initiatives Xcel should have been investing in already and should be able to achieve without raising customer rates. We are disappointed to see that Xcel is putting the cost of maintaining the grid on it’s customer’s shoulders and reinforces why people should consider energy independence by installing a residential or commercial solar system.
In addition to this, there were two beneficial updates made by Xcel Energy for Colorado solar system owners. The first is regarding the Xcel Commission Rule change for Insurance requirements. The rule change regarding insurance coverage became effective on July 30, 2021, which states that inverter-based generation facilities no longer require insurance for systems less than 1 MW AC. The second is the new legislative change to the 200% Rule. This means that solar systems can now be sized up to 200% of the customers average annual electric load. This is updating the old policy that limited solar systems to 120% of annual usage. Installers will see the changes in the Xcel online application portal. All active applications will be reviewed under the new 200% requirement and previously failed applications under 120% will be reevaluated under the 200% requirement.
Learn more about these updates in Xcel’s Official Announcement here>>
IPS Selected For The 2021 Top Solar Contractors List
The U.S. solar industry is on the upswing, thanks to a pro-renewables presidential administration and increased concern over climate change. Independent Power has had a front-row seat to this action, with business increasing over the last year. Solar Power World has recognized the company’s installation success by ranking Independent Power at No. 255 in the nation and in the Top 3 Residential Installers in Colorado on the 2021 Top Solar Contractors list. Learn more here >>
How Does Wildfire Smoke Affect Solar production?
Summer provides peak solar production in many parts of the United States, but recent studies have confirmed that worsening wildfire seasons on the west coast and in the midwest are affecting Solar production. For those of us here in Colorado, we’ve become very aware of how the smoke particles and poor air quality doesn’t just affect our health but also affects our solar energy production. In 2021, we are expecting solar systems to produce a below-average energy output and in July and August we could be seeing a production loss of up to 30% based on some studies performed in California in 2020
Although going solar won’t directly solve our wildfire problem it could help. According to the recent IPCC report on climate change intensifying,we have more certainty on how our energy consumption habits have a direct impact on global warming events. But more importantly, our choices on the future of renewable energy production, electric transportation and sustainable land-use will be clear drivers in our ability to reverse or mitigate the current climate change trends. Learn more >>
STORAGE: How Does Solar + Storage Help with Rolling Blackouts?
RESIDENTIAL: Blackouts and high utility prices are driving solar and storage adoption, SunPower survey says
COMMERCIAL: Biden administration reveals possible intent to extend ITC in new briefing
ALSO: SunPower and the Sierra Club Promote Clean Energy Through Solar Power
Interesting projects for you…
A selection of projects IPS designed and installed
COMMERCIAL HIGHLIGHT: We teamed up with local Colorado Installer, Namaste Solar, to install a 9.9 kW solar power system on the Boulder County Courthouse. Its estimated energy production is 13,898 kWh per year.
CUSTOMER REVIEW:“Had a good experience with Independent Power . Clear explanation of what they offered. No high pressure sales technique. High quality panels.Install went smoothly. I have only had the solar system for 7 months but, no problems so far. I would recommend them as an installer to consider if you are thinking about getting solar panels.”
To read more about IPS projects check out our portfolio here.
This month’s newsletter was curated for you by…
Structural Engineer, PV System Designer
Kyle graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2012 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and has been with IPS since 2013. Kyle has experience designing large utility-scale PV and energy storage systems. His attention to detail and experience with complex electrical design makes him instrumental in the IPS sales process from detailed site assessments to completion