The Colorado power market, while friendly to solar, is driven primarily by utility incentive programs. Many utilities in the state have frozen their programs, which has detrimentally impacted solar’s growth in the state. SEIA is fighting challenges to net-metering and the state’s renewable energy standard.
Facts on the Colorado Solar Industry
- There are currently more than 252 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Colorado, employing 3,600.
- Colorado ranked 13th nationally in Q4 installations. See more solar state rankings.
- In 2012, Colorado installed 70 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it 9th nationally.
- The 270 MW of solar energy currently installed in Colorado ranks the state 5th in the country in cumulative installed solar capacity. There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 49,000 homes.
- In 2012, $187 million was invested in Colorado to install solar on homes and businesses.
- Average installed residential and commercial photovoltaic system prices in Colorado continue to fall--by 11% from last year. National prices have also dropped steadily--by 14% from last year and 31% since 2010.
View more solar industry data.
SEIA Colorado State Policy Priorities
- Defend the Colorado Renewable Portfolio Standard.
- Support policies that to promote fair solar access, including permitting, interconnection and tax assessment.
- Support policies to encourage Solar Heating and Cooling technologies.
- Ensure transparency in and maximum opportunity within the Xcel Energy's Solar*Rewards Program .
- Ensure future access to net metering for solar customers.
Notable Solar Installations in Colorado
- The San Luis Valley Solar Ranch in Alamosa County came online in 2011. 200 jobs were generated during the development and construction of this 38 MW photovoltaic project. Since its completion the San Luis Valley Solar Ranch has generated $12 million in local property, state sales and income taxes.
- Greater Sandhill Solar Plant in Alamosa produces enough electricity to power over 5,000 homes. This 19 MW photovoltaic project came online in 2011 and created 100 jobs during development and construction.
- Several large retailers in Colorado have installed sizeable solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on their retail centers. Kohl’s Department Stores has installed over 1.1 MW of solar photovoltaics across 10 locations in Colorado, while REI has nearly 300 kW in solar spread across 4 stores. IKEA recently installed a 498 kW system on their store in Centennial and WalMart has gone solar at 6 locations spread across the state.
See our solar installations maps.
Solar Companies in Colorado
There are currently more than 252 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Colorado. These companies provide a wide variety of solar products and services ranging from solar system installations to the manufacturing of components used in photovoltaic panels. These companies can be broken down across the following categories: 32 manufacturers, 12 manufacturing facilities, 119 contractor/installers, 17 project developers, 22 distributors and 62 engaged in other solar activities including financing, engineering and legal support
Don't see your company listed? Complete our National Solar Database Survey!
Colorado State Solar Policy Resources
Colorado State Energy Office – Find a wide variety of information on state government energy programs, policy, projects, energy-saving strategies and energy-related statistics
Colorado State Legislature – Track pending legislation affecting solar energy, locate and contact individual legislators, and stay up to date on current legislative issues in Colorado
Colorado Public Utilities Commisssion – Learn about the governing body that regulates the electricity rates and services of California public utilities
DSIRE Incentives Database - Colorado – Search a public clearinghouse for specific solar energy incentives in Colorado and across the United States
U.S. Energy Information Administration - Colorado State Profile – Explore official energy statistics, including data on electricity supply and demand, from the U.S. government