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CPS Energy, solar installers agree on commercial rebate changes


From the July 9, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published July 9, 2013

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director
CPS Energy and local solar installers, led by Solar San Antonio, have agreed on a plan that would lower two commercial solar rebate incentives while providing additional funds to the program, in an effort to maintain funding through the end of the year. The change provides a solution to depleted funds for solar rebates following a sudden influx of commercial applications, the San Antonio utility said. Under the plan, almost $1.7 million in solar rebate funds left unused from the previous fiscal year will be added to the current year. 

As of June 27, the rebate for commercial customers is $1.60 per AC watt up to and including 25 kW, down from $2 per watt; for commercial projects exceeding 25 kW, the rebate is unchanged at $1.30 per AC watt. The maximum rebate for one project at a commercial customer will be increased from $80,000 to $100,000 or 50 percent of the total cost, whichever is less. For schools, the rebate for projects of 25 kW and less will be reduced from $2.50 to $2 per AC watt, while the maximum rebate for one project will rise from $80,000 to $100,000.

Residential rebates will remain unchanged for the time being, CPS Energy said.

"When we saw this large number of applications would exhaust this year’s commercial rebate budget, we realized how disruptive that could be to the industry," said Cris Eugster, executive vice president and chief strategy and technology officer, CPS Energy. "So we reached out to Solar San Antonio to see if we could agree on a solution. I am pleased that everyone was able to come together and agree on a solution to a real-time challenge."

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