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Roof Mount Solar Modules

Solar modules certified as manufactured in Minnesota, such as the ones above from Silicon Energy, are eligible for the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program. (Photo provided by Silicon Energy)

MiM lottery applicants notified; program to support 5.5 MW of new solar

The lottery for the solar photovoltaic (PV) portion of the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program was completed earlier this month and 363 new residential, commercial, and community garden solar electric systems were selected to receive funding in the program’s first year. The systems will produce more than 5.4 megawatts (MW) of solar electric energy, an amount that will increase Minnesota’s total solar PV capacity by about one third through this program alone (Minnesota had about 14.5 MW of solar PV as of September 2013).

Applicants to the 10-year, $150 million Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program were notified by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. A lottery will be held each year for the next nine years from January 1-February 28 to encourage more new solar PV projects.

Incentives for solar PV are performance-based, established by a system’s energy production, and paid over 10 years. Owners of an approved and installed PV system will receive payments annually by July 1 based on the kWh output of the system in the previous calendar year. 

Projects by utility and total kWs of capacity are listed below. 

Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program Lottery Results in 2014 

Xcel Energy Applied Funding reserved
Commercial 281 104
Residential 242 242
Community Solar Gardens 20 6
Total kW 5,329 kW

 

Otter Tail Power Applied Funding reserved
Commercial 12 1
Residential 4 1
Total kW 30 kW

Minnesota Power Applied Funding reserved
Commercial 23 1
Residential 28 5
Total kW 43 kW

Alliant Applied Funding reserved
Commercial 10 1
Residential 7 2
Total kW 60 kW
Total kW funded=5,462

Commerce still accepting applications for Solar Thermal Rebate Program

Fourteen applicants have been notified that they will receive rebates for solar thermal systems as part of the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program. Applications for the Solar Thermal Rebate Program were accepted this year from January 1-February 28 and reopened on March 17 on a first-come, first-served basis until 2014 funds are fully reserved.

Like the production-based solar PV incentives, the Solar Thermal Rebate Program is for customers of electric investor-owned utilities (Xcel Energy, Alliant Energy, Minnesota Power, and Otter Tail Power). Rebates are available to commercial and residential property owners who install solar thermal systems using collectors certified as Made in Minnesota. Solar thermal systems can be installed for space heating, water heating, and pool heating purposes. The rebate is equal to 25 percent of the system installed cost up to a maximum of $2,500 for residential, $5,000 for multifamily, and $25,000 for commercial systems.

More information on the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program is available online. Questions can be addressed by emailing solar.help@state.mn.us or calling 651-539-1886 or 1-800-657-3710.