Minnesota is the national leader in community solar, with 208 projects around the state, more than a third of all community solar projects in the US. The Community Solar Garden policy is the best in the nation, making it easy to develop and subscribe to solar power. Read more in the new report from Vote Solar, MnSEIA, and the Institute for Local Self Reliance.
Everyone deserves access to affordable, healthy, reliable renewable energy. Our new report shows how community solar is working for Minnesota, including:
- Customers: More than 14,000 Minnesota customers have signed up for community solar, to save money, create local economic development and jobs, and to protect the environment. That includes over 12,000 households and 2,000 business, non-profit, and public-sector customers.
- Workers: Community solar employed over 4,000 workers in Minnesota in 2018, including many family-wage construction jobs. “Solar installer” was the fastest growing job in the US last year.
- Landowners: Community solar projects currently pay about $5 million a year to landowners for leases and royalty payments. Counting all projects operating or currently under construction, about 354 landowners will receive a total of $182 million in leases and royalties over the next 25 years.
Lawmakers have an opportunity to build on the success of community solar by ensuring every Minnesotan has the opportunity to participate, including low-income families and farmers.
Download the new report to learn how community solar is key to building a brighter, clean-powered future for Minnesota.
What is Community Solar?
Community solar allows residents, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to invest in solar power even if their own home or building is not suited to hosting solar panels, or if they are renters. Customers can subscribe to the output of a “solar garden” located somewhere else, and get the power counted toward their monthly electricity consumption through a credit on their utility bill.
This innovation has made it easy to go solar, and has led to an explosion of growth as customers leap at the
chance to save money and save the planet at the same time. With this growth has come big benefits to consumers, workers, landowners, and local government, as well as helping to clean up the environment and protect public health.
Learn more in the Community Solar Vision Study.
What Community Solar Means for Minnesota:
Economic opportunity: By investing in local clean energy, community solar lowers energy bills, puts working families in control of their own power, helps keep farmers on their lands, and creates good local jobs.
Energy equity: Everyone deserves access to clean air and affordable energy bills, including low-income families and communities of color who have paid the highest price for our fossil economy. Community solar can provide a way to make sure we’re building a clean energy future that works for everyone.
Health and well-being of our children: By reducing dependence on expensive and polluting power plants, community solar means cleaner air to breathe, healthier families, and a better world for our children and grandchildren.
Where is Community Solar in Minnesota?
Download the Report
Resources to shape the growth of sustainable and scalable community solar:
- Community Solar Vision Study
- Coalition for Community Solar Access Resources - Policy Decision Matrix
- Smart Electric Power Alliance April 2018 Market Update
- Community Solar from the Customer Perspective