Solar for Schools Grant Program
Established by the State Legislature in 2021 the Solar for Schools Grant Program is designed to stimulate the installation of solar energy systems on Minnesota public schools, K-12 as well as state colleges and universities, while using the opportunity to integrate renewable energy use into school curriculum. There are two programs:
- Outside Xcel Energy Territory (Minn. Stat. 216C.375): The Minnesota Department of Commerce developed and administers the Solar for Schools program for schools outside of Xcel Energy Territory, detailed in subsequent sections. Program inquiries should be directed to SolarForSchools@state.mn.us.
- Within Xcel Energy Territory (Minn. Stat. 216C.376): Schools within Xcel Energy Territory, which is primarily in the Twin Cities metro area, must apply directly through Xcel Energy’s program. All inquiries related to Xcel's program should be directed to SolarProgramMN@xcelenergy.com.
Program Updates Webinar - Tuesday April 26th, 1-2pm
The Department will be conducting a webinar on the Solar for Schools grant program (outside Xcel Energy territory). The session will have three primary objectives: 1) to update stakeholders on the results and impact of the first RFP Funding Round; 2) to gather feedback related to the grant program and RFP process for college and university applicants; and 3) assist colleges and universities in preparing for RFP Funding Round 2 opening July 1.
Following this webinar, a public comment period will remain open until May 16. To be considered, comments must be submitted to SolarForSchools@state.mn.us. The Department will take input from the webinar and public comments, making necessary program adjustments that enhance program efficacy and comply with statute language. Staff will post the final program documents prior to the second RFP Funding Round launch on July 1st, 2022. The July funding round will be open only to colleges and universities.