This week, Xcel Energy filed a “concept proposal” to develop a community solar garden project intended to serve low-income customers. The proposal comes on the heels of months of advocacy for improved low-income community solar offerings from Fresh Energy and many partner organizations at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
Fresh Energy science policy director J. Drake Hamilton released the following statement after Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith unveiled the proposed legislation for an increased Renewable Energy Standard.
2016 was the first year of Minnesota’s solar bloom — but there’s plenty more to come. While even more solar sites are planned to be built in the years ahead, tens of millions of native flowers and short-growing meadow grasses will be taking root under and around the panels. Look for black-eyed susans to develop faster than the rest, followed by purple prairie clover, partridge pea, butterfly weed, and more.
As the market potential and popularity of community solar grows nationally, all eyes are on Minnesota. Why are so few projects up and running? How real is the 800MW queue? Is the program sustainable? At the two year anniversary of Xcel Energy’s community solar program launch, we’re taking a deep dive on the health of the program today and its potential going forward.