Xcel Energy Responds to SolarCity’s Challenge (Sort of.)

Date: 3 Jul 2013 | posted in: Energy, Media Coverage | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

GreenTech Solar, July 3, 2013

According to SolarCity representatives, four “unnecessarily burdensome” practices at Xcel, Colorado’s dominant utility, are slowing the growth of solar in the state.  Xcel Energy spokesperson Gabriel Romero provided a written rebuttal to SolarCity’s claims, but added, “We have decided to forego an interview and will simply leave you with this statement.”


The four Xcel practices that SolarCity’s Interconnection Director Laura Hannah and Policy and Electricity Markets Director Meghan Nutting characterized as slowing Colorado installers are:

  • The failure to allow the use of electronic signatures, slowing the process due by necessitating reliance on “snail” mail
  • A use of three forms sequentially instead of the use of a single, presigned form (which the pair described as an industry best practice.
  • A lengthy, duplicative engineering review for systems that other utilities allow lay administrators to review
  • An excessive wait time due to multiple pro-forma procedures


“Regarding Xcel’s overall record on building solar, there happens to be a coincidence of states with progressive renewable policies and their service territory,” according to John Farrell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, who dealt with the utility while leading a movement that established a landmark solar standard in Minnesota, where Xcel’s headquarters are located. “[Xcel is] a leader, but somebody had to beat them with a dirty stick to get them going.”

During the fight over the Minnesota solar standard, Farrell said, Xcel might have begun to see solar as a viable choice. “It’s like a kid who doesn’t yet understand about vegetables,” Farrell opined. “Xcel is starting to come around, but somebody still has to make them eat their broccoli.”

Read the full story here.