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Solar program frequently asked questions

Systems have 12 months to complete the installation from the date the application is submitted to Black Hills Energy, unless other arrangements are made, in writing.


How long do I have to complete my installation?

You have 12 months from the date your application is submitted to Black Hills Energy to complete your private, on-site solar installation.

What is the maximum system size I can install?

Per PUC rules, the maximum system size you can have installed is 120 percent of your most recent 12-month usage history. We’ll review your usage history at the time of your application. If your system size exceeds the 120 percent rule, your application will be declined and you will need to re-apply with a smaller, compliant system size.

Can I change the size of my system during the application and/or installation phase?

During the application phase (prior to the assignment of a reservation agreement/ reservation number), any decrease in size is acceptable, but please inform Black Hills Energy in writing of the change.  Your solar installer will be required to submit additional paperwork to support your application. Please keep in mind, any increase in size must be limited to the 120 percent rule. 

During the installation phase, any changes (either smaller or larger) are limited to no more than 10 percent per PUC rules.  Your solar installer will need to make note of the change on the reservation document as part of the final documentation submission.

Why do I need proof of insurance?

This PUC requirement protects both you and others if anyone were to get hurt while working on your system, the electrical meters or electrical service to your home or business. Owning a solar system makes you responsible if someone were to get hurt, should your system malfunction.  For systems owned by a third-party developer, the insurance can be in the developer's name.

For systems greater than 500 kW, Black Hills Energy needs to be listed as additionally insured because Colorado is a shared liability state where multiple parties can be determined to be guilty.

Systems at 10 kW or below requires a minimum of $300,000 personal liability coverage for each occurrence. Systems above 10 kW require a minimum of $1 million personal liability coverage for each occurrence.

Metering will not happen unless proof of liability insurance is included in the final documentation package.

Is there an application deposit?


Is there a Solar System Fee?

Yes. For every solar system on-line application, there is a non-refundable processing fee. For systems under 10,000 watts DC, the fee amount is $320. For systems 10,000 watts DC and larger, the fee amount is $620. After the on-line application is submitted, a solar system fee (payable through PayPal), and the one-line diagram (and level 2 diagram, for systems over 10,000 watts DC) are required.

When can I turn on my solar system?

Your solar system will be activated after Black Hills Energy performs the anti-islanding test and the bi-directional meter installation.