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Photovoltaic Reports & Data

Information on utility scale solar electric capacity and generation is available through the Energy Information Administration (EIA) State Renewable Electricity profiles. Click on the hyperlink for "Minnesota" to get the most up-to-date statistics.  

Analysis of commercial-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems co-located with a building load. This report does not necessarily reflect the positions of the Minnesota Department of Commerce and may not be advocated by the Department in comments before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. 

Solar Installations in Minnesota
The demand for PV in Minnesota grew rapidly over the past decade as various incentives were available to expand the solar market and accelerate cost reductions nationwide. Minnesota achieved a milestone of more than eight megawatts of total PV capacity from more than 800 known PV systems in 2012. The Minnesota Solar Electric Rebate Program offered financial assistance for much of this development, along with federal and utility incentives.  

Trends in the installed cost of PV in Minnesota have declined from approximately $10 per watt in 2009 to as low as $4.50 for public bids of small commercial projects in 2011. In 2012, Minnesota PV installers reported quoting large-scale PV projects to be as low as $3 per watt. These recent installed cost reductions are largely attributed to reductions in the price of PV modules. 

Note: more details on installations will be available in the new QUAD report due out this fall.

The Minnesota Utility Data Book provides aggregate information reported by Minnesota utilities through 2008. It also provides data reported by individual companies for the year 2008. 

The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is one of the most important planning tools and road maps for each electric utility. The goal of an IRP is to set out a reasonable plan to ensure that a utility can meet its customers’ needs in a reliable and low-cost manner. The word “integrated” refers to the goal of ensuring that the utility uses both generation and demand-response resources. The Division of Energy Resources ensures that the utility has a reasonable (e.g., low-cost and in compliance with statutes) plan to meet its customers’ needs. Based on the division’s analysis, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission determines in an IRP whether or not a utility has made a “good-faith effort” to meet Minnesota’s renewable energy standard (RES). 

If you have questions about integrated resource plans contact our Energy Information Center at 800-657-3710 or

Data on electricity and natural gas consumption and supply is available by state. Provided by U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

A statewide study of dispersed renewable generation potential. Identifies locations in the existing transmission grid where projects could be operated. The study was done in two phases. Includes a total of six reports. Go to the document search link above then select Energy Data and Reports and go to the topic called Dispersed Renewable Generation. (supply and distribution – main, solar, wind, bio – secondary).