SAINT PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Department of Commerce kicked off its second year of the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program on January 1, 2015. Applications will be accepted through February 28, 2015. The Made in Minnesota program was established to help fund new solar electric and solar thermal systems for Minnesota residents, businesses, and communities.
“In its first year, the Made-in-Minnesota solar initiative accomplished its goals — to boost the state’s solar energy sector and meet our renewable energy and solar objectives,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “Minnesota has taken a good step forward on its clean energy path, making solar more affordable for homeowners and businesses, creating more clean energy jobs, and diversifying our renewable energy economy.”
"Over the next nine years, the Made-in-Minnesota program will continue to help Minnesotans install qualified solar systems in our state," added Rothman.
Program’s first year boosts state’s solar capacity
In 2014, the first year of the Made in Minnesota program, funding was awarded for 343 solar electric (or photovoltaic [PV]) projects and 20 solar thermal installations. The PV projects equal approximately 5.1 megawatts (MW) of electric capacity—equal to more than one-third of the state’s total solar capacity of 14 MW when the program began January 1, 2014.
Over 10 years, the program is expected to help fund 4,000 solar installations and increase Minnesota’s solar electric capacity by about 75 MW, more than a five-fold increase in the state’s capacity as of January 1, 2014. Currently, about 20 MW of solar capacity is installed in Minnesota.
Who can apply for MiM solar incentives?
The solar incentive program is available to customers of electric investor-owned utilities (IOUs) who install solar PV or solar thermal systems using solar modules or collectors certified as manufactured in Minnesota. Applications for the two parts of the incentive program—the Solar PV Production-Based Incentive Program and the Solar Thermal Rebate Program—will be accepted annually between January 1 and February 28 each year through 2023 and will be selected by lottery. Applicants can reapply if not selected the first year. In addition, the solar PV incentive is available for community solar gardens (less than 40 kW).