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Solar Industry

The state of Minnesota is interested in helping Minnesota-based solar businesses expand and in attracting new solar businesses to the state.

From solar manufacturers and system developers and installers to the agencies that help finance solar projects, the Minnesota Department of Commerce is here to help build a strong clean energy economy.

The solar industry is booming in Minnesota, and it is positioned for continued growth. With solar policies such as the solar electricity standard in place, Minnesota is committed to the solar industry. 

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Minnesota Solar Facts:

  • 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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