DENVER - The Colorado Public Utilities Commission soon will decide an issue so fundamental to the state's solar power industry that it will set the course for alternative energy in Colorado for years.
If the three-member commission sides with solar energy proponents, rooftop solar power systems are likely to continue spreading across the Denver metro area and the service territory of Xcel Energy Inc.
If the commission rules a different way, in favor of Xcel, solar power advocates say it will upset a financial pillar that's critical to the growing solar industry and likely lead to a dramatic throttling back of its growth.
The fight unfolding between solar proponents and traditional utilities boils down to this question: How much is the sun's power worth?
Specifically, how much money should Xcel customers with small solar power systems -- the kind on residential and business rooftops - be paid for the power these units produce and give back to the power grid under a system called "net metering"?
Read more at the Denver Business Journal
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