Solar incentives in Minnesota
What type of solar incentives are available?
Several types of incentives can help you go solar.
Minnesota does not have an active Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) market, though there are conversations happening now around creating one. Minnesota’s Renewable Energy Standard requires each electric utility to generate 25% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025 (Xcel Energy must generate 30% from renewable sources by 2025). In addition, Minnesota requires that each electric utility generate 1.5% of its electricity from solar by 2020, with 10% of that from small sources (under 40 kW). To achieve these goals, some utilities are offering incentives for homeowners and businesses to install solar (see below).
Minnesota passed Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) enabling legislation in 2010 and two commercial PACE programs are active in the state:
- Southwest Regional Development Commission – In order to qualify for SRDC PACE financing, your property must be located within the Rural Minnesota Energy Board Region and must be classified as commercial or industrial.
- MinnPACE/St. Paul Port Authority – MinnPACE is the largest provider of commercial PACE financing in Minnesota serving more than 31 counties and 20 cities.
Minnesota is currently investigating opening a residential PACE program. Contact us to learn more.
- Residential and small business customers of Xcel Energy are eligible to apply for Xcel’s Solar*Rewards incentive program. To participate, a customer first checks for availability through Xcel. Upon preapproval, the customer then installs a solar PV system up to 20 kW in size. The incentive payment for 2017 was $0.08/kWh, and participating customers receive these payments for 10 years. In 2017, the Legislature provided more funding to the Solar*Rewards program by terminating the Made in Minnesota incentive program, so there will be more funding available for the 2018 program.
- Minnesota Power provides a rebate for its customers through its SolarSense program. Customers receive an up-front rebate from Minnesota Power based on the amount of electricity their system is expected to produce, calculated using PV Watts. Minnesota Power will pay $0.94/kWh for one year of production for systems under 20 kW.
- Rochester Public Utilities, Owatonna Public Utilities, and Austin Public Utilities all provide a solar rebate for their customers through a Conserve & $ave program. The rebate is $0.50/watt of nameplate capacity, up to $5,000 (10 kW).
- The City of New Ulm also provides a solar rebate for its customers of $1/watt of nameplate capacity, up to $2,000 for residential, $5,000 for commercial, and $10,000 for industrial. For more information, please contact New Ulm Public Utilities.