Xcel Energy will provide rebates to business and residential customers who install solar systems that meet efficiency requirements.
It's one of several new programs Xcel is offering to meet state requirements for reducing the amount of energy the utility sells. Crystal Manik of Xcel Energy says the utility will also offer residential customers energy audits and free installation of some energy-efficiency improvements.
"So really these programs are about providing them with a variety of options," Manik said. "If they're looking to do something as simple as change out a shower head in their home or something, that's more complicated."
Xcel says the programs will save enough energy to power 138,000 homes for a year. Minnesota requires utilities to reduce their sales by one-and-a-half percent every year.