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Community Solar Gardens (Xcel Energy)

Legislation passed in 2013 requires Xcel Energy to administer a program for community solar gardens. Other utilities may elect to develop community solar programs as well. Xcel filed its initial plans to operate a community solar program with the Public Utilities Commission on September 30, 2013.  The Public Utilities Commission issued its Order on April 7, 2014. Xcel will file its revised plan for the program by May 7, 2014.

Eligible projects may be up to 1,000 kW in size. There is no limit on the number of community solar projects that can be developed. 

The legislation includes the following specifications for subscribers:

  • Subscribers to solar gardens will receive a bill credit for the electricity generated in proportion to the size of their subscription.
  • Individual subscriptions must be at least 200 Watts, but may not be sized at more than 120 percent of average annual subscriber energy consumption (in combination with other on-site distributed generation).
  • Subscribers may live in a county adjacent to county where the solar garden is located.
    (Community Solar Garden, Minnesota Laws 2013, Chapter 85 HF 729, Article 10, Section 2)

See Docket No: E002/M-13-867 for additional details related to the PUC review process. 

The Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) have developed a resource page for customers interested in Community Solar Gardens.