State Solar Policy

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Colorado Solar

The Colorado solar market is limited by utility procurement and utility incentive programs. Therefore while Colorado is friendly to solar, there has not been substantive annual growth in recent years. SEIA is fighting challenges to net metering and encourage solar opportunity throughout Colorado.

Click here to download the fact sheet. 

Facts on the Colorado Solar Industry

  • There are currently more than 382 solar companies  at work throughout the value chain in Colorado, employing 4,998 people .
  • In 2015, Colorado installed 146 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking it 12th nationally. Installed solar capacity in Colorado has grown by 117% over the last year. 
  • In 2015, $305 million was invested on solar installations in Colorado.  This represents a 44% increase over the previous year, and is expected to grow again this year. 
  • The 599 MW of solar energy currently installed in Colorado ranks the state ninth in the country in installed solar capacity.  There is enough solar energy installed in the state to power 114,000 homes.
  • Over the next five years, Colorado is expected to install 1,878 MW of solar electric capacity, ranking the state 12th over that time span. This amount is more than 5 times the amount of solar installed over the last five years.
  • Installed solar PV system prices in the U.S. have dropped steadily- by 12% from last year and 66% from 2010.

View more solar industry data

SEIA Colorado State Policy Priorities

  • Defend the Colorado Renewable Energy 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

  • Alamosa Solar Generating Project was completed in 2012 by developer Cogentrix.  This concentrating photovoltaics project has the capacity to generate 30 MW of electricity-- enough to power over 5,400 Colorado homes4
  • At 50 MW, Hooper Solar Project is among the largest solar installations in Colorado.  Completed in 2016 by SunPower, this photovoltaic project has enough electric capacity to power more than 9,500 homes5
  • Several large retailers in Colorado have gone solar, including Kohl's, REI, Safeway and Walmart. Intel has installed one of the largest corporate photovoltaic systems in the state with 1,000 kW of solar capacity at their location in Fort Collins6.

See our solar installations maps

Solar Companies in Colorado

There are currently more than 382 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: 37 manufacturers, 12 manufacturing facilities, 182 contractor/installers, 22 project developers, 25 distributors and 116 engaged in other solar activities including financing, engineering and legal support.

 

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How much do solar panels cost in Colorado?

Solar panel costs have fallen significantly in the last 5 years and now installing solar panels can be one of the best investments you can make for your home. There are also now a lot of products on the market utilizing sophisticated financing vehicles to make solar panels for your home affordable. This website will show you the average retail price of installing home solar panels in Colorado.

Solar rebates and solar tax credits in Colorado.

Solar incentives are offered at the utility, county, state and federal level. These solar incentives can take various forms including solar tax credits, up front solar rebates, premium feed in tariffs (known as net metering) or solar production incentives.The eligibility and rules for each incentive program can vary greatly. This solar panel calculator allows you to enter your address and it will tell you what solar incentives will apply at your house and the value of these if you go solar.

Finding the right solar company for you:

There are many solar companies in Colorado offering a wide variety of brands and options. This consumer reviews website will show you the consumer ratings of each solar installer that services your area and will also show you what brands of solar panels.

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

 

2The Solar Foundation, 2015 National and State Solar Jobs Census, www.thesolarfoundation.org/solar-jobs-census/
3This and all other data in this section from SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight
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For more information about SEIA’s activities in Colorado, send an email to our state affairs team and we will respond as promptly as possible.

You can also contact our state affiliate, CoSEIA, for more information on Colorado solar policy.

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