On-Site Solar With and Without Production Based Incentive (PBI)
On-Site Solar includes roof-top and ground mount solar systems, located at customer’s homes or business, in close proximity to their BHE power meter. See also, Community Solar Garden, for options to purchase solar energy credits from third-party vendors.
- The “production based incentive” or BPI is dollars paid to customers, based on energy created in any calendar year, (documented and paid on the following January bill). The PBI is based on the total amount of solar electricity generated by customer-owned solar systems during a calendar year. The PBI payment multiplier is established by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC), and, once awarded to a customer, is fixed and paid for ten years. Subscriptions for PBI is limited and very competitive. See diagram below.
- Net metering is provided by BHE to all solar customers, that is, those with and without PBI. “Net metering” is an electricity metering system that measures both energy delivered to customers from BHE, and excess energy received from customer-owned solar systems to BHE. In this way, customers receive credit for energy produced in excess of their usage, to be used later.
- Solar customers who obtain a PBI, will be given a reservation number starting with the letters PBI. Solar customers without a PBI, will be given a reservation number starting with the letters NMSO (Net Metering Service Only).
- In either program, that is PBI or NMSO, for customers who have a positive banked energy balance (kwh) at the end of a calendar year, these banked kwh can be sold to BHE or rolled over for use, by the same customer, in the next calendar year. Customers must decide on which option they would like. The default option is to sell banked energy hours to BHE. If sold to BHE, they will be purchased at our wholesale price of electricity. If rolled over, they can only be used to offset future energy used, thereby reducing billing by the retail price of electricity. The decision to roll over can be made anytime, but once made, is irreversible per PUC rules.
Any BHE Colorado Electric customer, residential, commercial or industrial, can install an on-site solar system. For customers who install systems larger than 10,000 watts DC, there are additional technical, insurance requirements, and potential costs, as established by the PUC. See program rules. For customers who install systems larger than 30,000 watts DC, the incentive is higher. See Tier 2 and diagram below.
To get started, we recommend that customers read the program rules, talk to their solar energy neighbors, and contact several qualified on-site solar installation contractors. Industry professionals will help you decide the size and type of system that will best meet your needs and obtain the necessary permits and inspections. The Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association, COSEIA maintains a list of qualified Colorado solar installation contractors with the training and experience necessary to properly design and install an on-site solar system.
The Public Utilities Commission of the State of Colorado has approved the Black Hills Energy 2018-2021 Renewable Energy Standard (RES) Compliance Plan Settlement Agreement.
2018-2021 On-Site SOLAR PROGRAM
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved the Black Hills Energy 2018-2021 Renewable Energy Standard (RES) Compliance Plan. Changes to the plan cannot take place without PUC approval.
MORE DETAIL ABOUT OUR ON-SITE SOLAR program INCENTIVES:
Before submitting your application please understand these rules and regulations for the Colorado Electric On-Site Solar Program. Customers will sign documents stating that they have read and understood the program rules. These are important. For questions, please call 719-546-6512.
The solar project fee, paid by check only, is due at time of on-line application submittal. It must be received at our Pueblo, Colorado office, (105 S Victoria Avenue), by 3 p.m. on the fifth calendar day after the date of on-line application. The solar project fee is non-refundable. See solar project fee form, for more information.
Using the the sun to power our your homes and businesses is just one of the ways we maximize the use of renewable energy resources. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions.
Excess energy from the solar system that is “banked” will be cashed out at the end of the year, or the customer may make a one-time election to "roll-over" excess energy to the account until termination of service, with no payments made for excess energy.
A Community Solar Garden is a community-shared solar array that allows the use of solar with like-minded community members.