Austin Utilities - Solar Choice Program

September 01, 2011

Summary

Modeled after the successful Sustainable and Natural Alternative Power (SNAP) program in Chelan County, Washington, Austin Public Utilities' Solar Choice program encourages customers to install photovoltaic solar arrays and connect them to their utilities' electrical distribution system by offering an incentive payment based on the system's production on a $/kWh basis.

The amount paid by Austin Utilities to solar energy producers depends on the total amount contributed by that utility's purchasers through the solar green pricing program - Solar Choice. The greater the amount contributed by purchasers, the greater the amount that will be distributed among participating producers, up to a maximum of $1.00 per kWh. This amount is considered payment for the green attributes of the electricity only, and is additional to retail rates the producer may receive for their electricity under the state's net metering laws. Producers are compensated for the total electricity produced, not the total exported to the grid.

To sign up and become a Solar Choice purchaser, simply submit information on the Austin Utilities' online Participation Form or contact the Austin Utilities' Energy Services Department at 507-433-8886.

This program began on October 1, 2005. Actual rates paid to producers are posted annually. The first payment took place in April 2007. The maximum generation project that may be interconnected with the distribution system is 40 kilowatts. Solar Choice is not for customers who want to install renewable energy sources for back-up power generation at their home or business.

Also see the Austin Utilities Solar Rebate program.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Utility
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Minnesota
Incentive Type: Performance-Based Incentive
Web Site: http://www.austinutilities.com/pages/environment_solarChoice.asp
Administrator: Austin Public Utilities
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Photovoltaics
Incentive Amount: Varies; determined by $ amount purchased and kWh produced by the utility's customer base.
Maximum Incentive: $1.00/kWh
Terms: 40 kW system limit

Contact

Name: Kelly Lady
Organization: Austin Public Utilities
Address: 400 4th St NE
Austin MN 55912
Phone: (507) 433-8886
Email: KellyL@austinutilities.com

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.