CPS Energy - Solartricity Producer Program

October 27, 2011


This program is currently closed to new applications. A second round is expected, although no announcements have been made. Check the program web site for updates and to view the current queue of projects.

CPS Energy, San Antonio's municipal utility, offers a special electricity purchase rate of $0.27 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for photovoltaic (PV) systems located within its service territory through the Solartricity Producer program. The rate is available as a standard open offer that began June 15, 2010 for systems ranging from 25 kilowatts (kW) to 500 kW AC. The rate is available to any legal entity that is authorized to enter into a contract with the utility. The participant does not need to be a CPS Energy customer unless energy is supplied from the utility to power ancillary facility equipment. The seller is obligated to sign a Solartricity Solar Power Purchase Agreement with the utility for a term of 20 years, although the seller may opt-out of this contract at any time.

This is a sell-all arrangement; it is not compatible with systems designed to generate energy to serve on-site needs (e.g., net metered systems). Payments for purchased electricity will be made on a monthly basis. Payments are subject to a maximum payment arrived at through monthly production estimates using accepted modeling software (e.g., PVWatts, SAM) and specified in the contract.

In order to qualify for the program, systems must be at least 90% roof-mounted on buildings or structures. Ground-mounted equipment may comprise no more than 10% of project. Individual sellers may not own more than 500 kW AC of cumulative generating capacity enrolled in the program. CPS Energy will be take ownership of any renewable energy credits or other environmental attributes associated with electricity produced under the agreement. The utility expects to resell the electricity it purchases from solar facilities as a solar power option for its customers. Participants in CPS Energy's solar rebate program, or customers who are net metering under Rider E-15, are not permitted to enroll in the Solartricity Producer Program. The utility will not negotiate special contract terms for each project.

The utility intends to enter contracts with up to 5 MW AC of qualifying projects annually for two years. The utility will evaluate and possibly revise the purchase rate for the second year of the program, and annually thereafter should the program continue beyond the initial two year pilot. The utility expects that the program will have an annual cost of roughly $2.3 million. Please see the program web site for additional details on the program requirements and the application process.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Utility
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Texas
Incentive Type: Performance-Based Incentive
Web Site: http://www.cpsenergy.com/Services/Generate_Deliver_Energy/Solar_Power/Solartricity/index.asp
Administrator: CPS Energy
Start Date: 06/15/2010
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Photovoltaics
Incentive Amount: $0.27 per kWh
Maximum Incentive: Monthly payments are limited to maximum production specified in the purchase agreement, based on accepted modeling software (e.g., PVWatts, SAM, etc.)
Terms: 20-year contract term; contract may be terminated by the system owner at any time; generally limited to rooftop systems
Eligible System Size: 25 - 500 kW AC for systems; 500 kW AC entity cap
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits: CPS Energy


Name: Program Information - Solartricity Producer Program
Organization: CPS Energy
Address: 17281 N. Green Mountain Road
San Antonio TX 78247
Phone: (210) 353-3388
Email: Solartricity@cpsenergy.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.