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Colorado Solar Energy Incentives for Commercial Systems

In addition to accelerated depreciation rules and a 30-percent renewable energy tax credit** available from the federal government, the state of Colorado offers a number of its own solar incentives that can help reduce the cost of installing a commercial solar energy system. As you'll see below, many of the CO incentives are made available through electricity utilities, like Xcel Energy and Black Hills. The state's main programs are outlined below. The list does not include details on CO solar loan programs. 

When you're ready to move forward with your project, simply fill out our solar energy information form. It's free and requires just a few minutes to complete. After learning about your company's energy needs, we'll work with our solar panel installation partners serving Colorado to get you a free site visit and quote. We're here to get you quality service and a great price on your solar energy system. 

**For solar commercial systems installed in 2009 and 2010, businesses can receive a solar energy grant equal to 30 percent of installed system costs -- instead of taking the federal tax credit. The grant option has been made possible by the federal stimulus package that was passed in February 2009. 

Are you a Colorado homeowner? See our CO residential solar energy incentive page.  


Investor-Owned Utility Rebates and REC Payments

Together, Colorado's two investor-owned utility -- Xcel Energy and Black Hills Energy (formerly Aquila) -- serve over 65 percent of all customers, statewide. To meet the state's renewable energy standards, both utilities sponsor solar photovoltaic (PV) panel incentive programs for commercial (and residential) customers. The programs consist of a per-watt rebate, plus an additional payment for the renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with the electricity generated by the solar panels over 20 years. Details are as follows. But be sure to check with the utility, as incentive levels are prone to change as more solar PV capacity is installed. 

Xcel Energy Solar*Rewards distributes incentives to three sizes of PV systems:

  • Systems ranging from 0.5 kW to 500 kW DC can receive a rebate of $2.00/watt DC, plus an REC payment of $.45/watt DC

The Black Hills On-Site Solar Power Program 

  • PV systems up to 10 kW in size are eligible for a rebate of $2.00/watt DC, plus an REC payment of $0.50/watt DC. 

  • PV systems from 10kW to 100 kW in size may receive a rebate of $2.00/watt DC, plus an REC payment of $50 per MWh produced over the course of the year. REC payments are made annually and are subject to adjustment.  

A few other local utilities offer helpful PV rebate programs, including Colorado Springs Utilities, Holy Cross Energy, La Plata Electric Association, Poudre Valley REA, and Southeast Colorado Electric Association. Check out Colorado's page on the DSIRE database for more information.

Non-Investor-Owned Utility Rebate Programs 

Businesses that are not customers of Xcel and Black Hills do have an alternative option. Through partnerships with municipalities, local organizations and other power providers, and with the help of the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Associations (COSEIA), the Governor's Energy Office (GEO) provides matching grant funds to businesses (and residents) that install solar PV and solar hot water systems.

Governor's Energy Office Solar Rebate Program

  • Depending on local availability, commercial solar PV panel systems may qualify for a rebate worth up to $15,000 (residential systems may receive up to $9,000)

  • Commercial solar hot water (SHW) systems may receive up to $3,000 ($1,500 from GEO, $1,500 from local partner organization)

To see if GEO rebates are available in your area, check out this list of local partner organizations, made available by COSEIA.


Updated 8/12/10

Colorado: Commercial Solar Incentives