Xcel community solar turns two

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.

Electric Cooperatives Connecting Pollinator Conservation and Clean Energy

“Butterflies, birds, and bees find a haven at Connexus” proclaimed the email recently sent to all members of Connexus Energy, Minnesota’s largest customer-owned electric cooperative. Connexus’ community solar garden hasn’t just been popular with its members — the site is also benefitting Minnesota’s bumblebees, honeybees, and foraging song birds — and is on the leading edge of a rapidly growing trend.

MN regulators adopt first of its kind value of solar rate

Today, Minnesota regulators adopted a value of solar rate for Xcel Energy’s community solar program – consistent with detailed recommendations made by Fresh Energy. The decision comes after more than a year of work by nonprofits, utilities, solar businesses, and regulators to shape the next phase of Xcel Energy’s community solar program. Though there has been tremendous interest in community solar in Minnesota so far, progress on the solar gardens themselves had been slow. However, we now expect 400 – 450 MW of community solar projects in service by the end of 2017. Today’s decision will apply to the next phase of community solar projects.