Construction of community Solar Gardens in MN has taken off in the last two years. The number of solar gardens built in MN increased sixfold in 2017, adding enough electricity to power about 32,000 homes. MN’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, alone plans to have over 125 solar gardens by the end of this year, producing over 450 megawatts. By comparison, Xcel’s largest coal-fired plant in Becker, MN, 45 miles northwest of the Twin Cities, produces about 680 megawatts.
This week, October 8th through the 12th, is Community Power Week.
Our series on solar power continues with a look at community solar gardens.
Community Solar Gardens are centrally-located solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that provide electricity to subscribers. They are for people that want to go solar but are unable to do so on their own.
People who live in an apartment, have a shaded roof at home, don’t have space for a solar array in their yard or business location, or simply cannot afford a personal solar power system, can subscribe to a community solar garden installed nearby and get credits on their utility bill.
The Itasca Clean Energy Team is made up of solar energy enthusiasts who are partnering with Grand Rapids Public Utilities to build a community solar garden for residents of Grand Rapids.
Here's some links for more information: