Minnesota to hit 450MW of solar with Governor’s signature

A recent bill passed in the Minnesota legislature calls for 450 megawatts of solar power generation by 2020.

Yesterday the Minnesota legislature passed a substantial solar energy bill that will result in the development of more than 450 megawatts of solar by 2020. Solar advocates are awaiting Governor Dayton’s signature which, given his support for solar, is expected shortly.

This bill represents one of the most significant solar victories of the 2013 legislative session. Fresh Energy, Sierra Club, MNSEIA, and many other organizations worked to pass this bill and kick-start a solar economy in their state.

The bill calls has some interesting provisions, like incentives for solar modules that are “made in Minnesota” and broadening access to solar power by allowing for public, group investments in “community” solar projects.

$15 million is allocated each year for 10 consecutive years to finance the “Made in Minnesota” solar production incentives.

Vote Solar worked with Fresh Energy to ensure the bill included a shared solar component, an important way of broadening access to solar by allowing customers to invest in a solar project and get a credit on their utility bill, even if that project is not on their own roof. By September 30, 2013, Xcel must file a plan for this “community solar gardens” program, and other utilities can do so voluntarily.

To read more about Minnesota’s push for solar, check out Green Tech Media.