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Solar for Schools

In 2021, the Minnesota State Legislature established the Solar for Schools grant program. Changes were made to the program during the 2023 legislative session. See the latest update and changes for the Solar for Schools program here. 

The Department is now accepting applications from newly eligible schools (e.g., schools located within Xcel Energy territory, Tribal Contract schools and Cooperative School Districts) beginning in January 2024. Eligible schools may apply for grants up to 40-70% of the cost to purchase and install a solar energy system. For K-12 schools, the maximum allowable grant size is determined by the most recent Adjusted Net Tax Capacity (ANTC) divided by the Adjusted Pupil Unit (APU). For state colleges and universities, the maximum allowable grant will be 50%, for tribal contract schools 60% and for cooperative school districts 40%.

Eligible K-12 School List

The overall maximum grant is $500,000 outside of Xcel service territory and $675,000 for within Xcel service territory. These are also both the lifetime caps for school districts both in and outside Xcel service territory meaning that the maximum grant dollars that a school’s district can receiving for either one or multiple systems is $500,000 and $675,000 respectfully.  The determination for the reduction in the grant value from past year to this current year was to account for tax credits that Solar for Schools’ systems are eligible for. The determination for the cap for projects within Xcel service territory relates to the availability of both tax credits and the photovoltaic demand credit. 

January 2024 ANTC/APU Values

Full Grant Chart

Chart showing school types, system sizes, grant values, and service territories related to the Solar for Schools grant program. 
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