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MN Solar Pathways

Illuminating pathways to 10% solar

The Minnesota Department of Commerce is the project lead for a U.S. Department of Energy grant that focuses on helping Minnesota reach its goal of 10% solar by 2030.

Achieving that goal means Minnesota would go from 204 megawatts of capacity at the end of 2016 to as much as 6 gigawatts (or 6,000 megawatts) by 2030, or enough energy to power more than 700,000 Minnesota homes. The competitive grant, titled MN Solar Pathways: illuminating pathways to 10% solar,” began in January 2017 and is funded by the Solar Energy Technologies Office.

Core partners in the project include the Center for Energy and Environment, Clean Energy Resource Teams, Clean Power Research, and the Great Plains Institute. In addition, the three-year project includes stakeholders from electric utilities, the solar industry, local units of government, corporations with sustainability goals, and nonprofit representatives. Through a collaborative stakeholder process, MN Solar Pathways seeks is to build consensus for sustainable solar development strategies modeled specifically for Minnesota.

The project team seeks the least-risk, best-value strategies for Minnesota to achieve its solar energy goals.

Reports to be completed under the project include:

  • An Interconnection Streamlining Assessment (for six Minnesota utilities)
  • A Statewide Solar Potential Analysis
  • Hosting capacity analysis for two Minnesota utilities
  • Statewide solar deployment strategies

Solar legislation from 2013 established the solar energy standard and goal that guide this project. The legislation calls for 10% of Minnesota’s electricity to come from solar by 2030.

For more information, please see the MN Solar Pathways website or contact Ben Martin, project manager, at 651-539-1793.

MN Solar Pathways reports completed

Assessing Opportunities and Challenges for Streamlining Interconnection Processes (.pdf)

Enhanced Hosting Capacity Analysis (.pdf)

Solar Potential Analysis Report (.pdf)

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