Full Title: Minnesota's Solar Gardens: The Status and Benefits of Community Solar
Author(s): Bentham Paulos
Publisher(s): Institute for Local Self-Reliance, MNSEIA, and VoteSolar
Publication Date: May 15, 2019
Full Text: Download Resource
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.
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.
To meet Governor Walz’s goals of a transitioning to a completely clean energy system, through the “One Minnesota Path to Clean Energy” plan, Minnesota will need a lot of solar, along with wind power, energy efficiency, and other clean sources. There will be plenty of opportunities for big companies and big banks to participate in solar energy. But policymakers should make sure that the rest of us are not left out of the transition. We need to keep the community in community solar.