As new and existing businesses continue to grow and develop, competition and differentiation is beginning to feel commonplace in the solar market. The variety of business models in the market today dwarfs the market of even a few years ago. Not only are there more players in the game, but their goals and strategies vary widely. In short, the solar energy space is beginning to mature into an established market.
In Minnesota, much of this transformation has come as the result of landmark solar legislation that passed in 2013. The solar energy standard, community solar garden program, and other key policies have sent a clear market signal that Minnesota is open for competition between solar businesses. Some of those businesses focus on large utility-scale projects, some focus on smaller rooftop solar installation, and others focus on projects somewhere in between.
That diversity of business models in the market is a healthy development. Solar customers across Minnesota are looking for vastly different products and services. A family in Duluth might want a rooftop solar array while a family in Winona might want to subscribe to a community solar garden. Businesses might want to install a large array on their own property while churches and community groups may find a ground mounted community solar option more appealing. More importantly, each of these customers may need a different business to cater to their needs.
As any market matures, the players in that marketplace drive more competition and differentiation. Good public policy allows all business models to compete without favoring one model over another. In Minnesota, our public policy has helped the solar energy industry come into its own. That’s a good thing for businesses, jobs, consumers, and the state as a whole.
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