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Solar Energy Data & Info

The Minnesota Department of Commerce serves to help Minnesotans build a clean energy economy that is strong, through work and collaborations on policy, programs and industry practices. 

The solar industry is booming in Minnesota, and it is positioned for continued growth. The State of Minnesota is committed to expanding the solar industry.  The Department of Commerce offers assistance for financial, technical and project assistance, siting and interconnections, and provides research and analysis for the Minnesota Public Utilities commission in large solar generation projects (50 megawatts or larger). 

View the solar energy data dashboard

Minnesota Solar Statistics :

  • In 2018, Minnesota solar capacity increased 47%, or 284 MWAC, for a total of 882 MWAC.
  • Solar capacity increased from 1 MW in 2009 to 32 MW in 2015 to 598 MW in 2017. Minnesota is projected to exceed 1,000 MWAC in 2019.
  • In 2018, 508 MWAC of Minnesota’s solar came from community solar gardens, mostly in Xcel Energy territory. Minnesota leads the nation in community solar capacity.
  • In 2018, renewable energy fueled about 25% of the electricity generated in Minnesota, with solar energy generating 2.2% and wind representing about 18%.
  • Solar jobs more than doubled in the last four years in Minnesota, from 1,995 in 2015 to 4,602 in 2018. Minnesota solar jobs increased 8% in 2018, even as solar jobs nationwide declined 3.2%.
  • Legislation passed in 2013 helped set state solar goals and policies to support solar. The Solar Energy Standard requires investor-owned utilities to obtain 1.5% of their electricity sales from solar by 2020, with a goal of 10% by 2030. Xcel Energy was required to develop a community solar program and administer a solar incentive program.
  • The Solar Potential Analysis Report (.pdf) concluded that Minnesota could achieve 10% solar energy by 2025 at costs comparable to natural gas generation.
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