Bill would expand solar access in rural Minnesota

By Ben Delman on March 11, 2019
Farm that uses solar to generate electricity and save money.

For many people who are interested in going solar, tax credits and rebate programs can make the difference in their decision to invest in a rooftop solar system. While all Minnesotans are eligible for the 30% federal tax credit, state incentives are only offered through electric utilities. Few rural utilities offer incentives for solar. To make matters worse, many of these utilities assess extra fees on solar arrays. This leaves many in rural parts of the state unable to invest in solar.

Legislators have proposed a bill (HF 1317) to make up this gap. The bill would provide a 15% state tax credit for rural electric cooperative and municipal utility customers who purchase a solar energy system. This would include solar PV and solar water heating. It would also include battery storage.

The bill sets aside $5 million per year for the next four years to provide credits to homes and businesses that purchase solar system. Half of the $5 million is reserved for homeowners who want to go solar. They would be eligible to take up to a $5,000 credit. Businesses can apply for up to a $20,000 credit.

Next steps, and how you can support solar

The bill has passed through the House Taxes committee. It is now awaiting committee approval in the Senate. The next step for the bill would be inclusion in omnibus tax bills.

Click here to urge your legislators to support this credit and help expand solar across Minnesota. Once you’ve done that, sign up for our webinar on March 19 to learn how you can persuade your elected officials to support pro-solar policies.