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Program rules - Colorado

  1. If you are receiving electric service in Southern Colorado from Black Hills Energy and plan to install a private on-site solar system on an existing home or business, your account must be active and current at the site of the proposed installation.
  2. For new construction, please contact the program administrator. We will not accept applications for a customer whose account is in arrears. 
  3. Solar/PV equipment that is installed as part of this program must remain at the address listed on this application.
  4. You must own the property where the solar system will be installed. Exception: Tenant-owned systems.
  5. Systems must be installed within the specified time frame from the date of the application submittal. Systems have 12 months from the date of application submittal to be completed. Failure to meet these requirements will result in forfeiture of the incentive offering and the application deposit.
  6. Systems that are 10,000 watts or less require a $320 interconnection fee. Systems greater than 10,000 watts, up to and including 500,000 watts, require a $620 fee.
  7. Applicants for systems must be able to demonstrate substantial completion (as defined in the Colorado Public Utility Commission's rules) within 12 months after the application submittal date unless we grant an extension of time, in writing, for good cause.
  8. Before incentive qualification, the customer, via their solar contractor, must have submitted to us a completed on-line application. If the system is greater than 10,000 watts, a level 2 review will be required.
  9. All systems must meet the requirements of local building construction and electrical safety codes at the time of installation. The customer, or the customer's contractor, is responsible for securing all necessary permits (i.e., building, electrical, etc.).
  10. All equipment must be factory new and unused. Rebuilt or refurbished equipment is not allowed. One of our representatives must inspect the solar system before your system can be turned on and become grid connected and fully operational.
  11. The system must be permanently installed or attached to a building, foundation or permanent structure. Portable or mobile systems are not allowed.
  12. The proposed PV system capacity cannot exceed the service entry capacity.
  13. The proposed PV system shall be sized to supply no more than 200 percent of the customer's reasonable and expected annual electricity consumption (measured in kWh) at that site.
  14. Systems must not be installed before receipt of our approval.
  15. All equipment must be listed by Underwriters' Laboratories and meet the minimum standards of UL 1741 and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in effect at the time of purchase.
  16. PV modules must be warranted for a minimum period of 20 years. All other components (with the exception of batteries), labor and installation must be warranted for a minimum period of five years and must be maintained by the owner to ensure that they remain operational for the duration of the agreement with us (normally 20 years.)
  17. We reserve the right to inspect your PV system installation and a copy of your installation contract in order to ensure compliance with program requirements.
  18. We reserve the right to post-installation follow-up visit(s) in order to verify actual output and safe operations.
  19. Submitting an application does not guarantee an incentive payment. Only Black Hills Energy can guarantee an incentive payment by issuance of an approved reservation agreement in writing.  Solar installers cannot guarantee an incentive payment to the customer.
  20. We will not be liable for any tax liability imposed as a result of an incentive payment.
  21. We reserve the right to modify this program at any time in accordance with the rules established by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.
  22. Effective Aug. 1, 2013, PV installations are subject to on-site supervision by a NABCEP certified professional to maintain a 3:1 ratio for the installation crew (one certified installer for every three solar installers.)
  23. If a customer sells his/her house and moves, both the bi-directional (billing) meter and the production meter will be transferred to the new property owner. The Interconnection Agreement and Production Based Incentive, if any, will come to an end.
  24. By default, every year end, all kWh in the customer’s bank account will be sold to BHE for the then current wholesale energy rate (usually around $0.025 per kWh).  The customer (not the solar contractor) can make a one time decision to roll over all kWh in the customer’s bank from one year to the next. This can be done by going to:  The deadline for making this decision, and submitting the required information via the website above, is November 15 for any calendar year. If that date is passed, a check for any banked kWh will be sent to the customer.  This payment is irreversible under PUC rules. The check can not be sent back to BHE and kWh be restored into the customer’s bank. 

Note: We recommend that your site is reviewed by your installer to determine if any factors exist that may hinder the solar production such as shading, array tilt and orientation limitations, as this will affect the PBI payments.