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Aggressive Renewable Energy Commitment

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Lofty Goals, High Standards

Minnesota's commitment to renewable energy is reflected in an aggressive set of laws and policies focused on nurturing green industries.

State laws require a substantial proportion of the state's electricity be generated from solar and other renewable sources. Significant financial incentives and technical assistance are also in place.

The Renewable Energy Standard (2007) requires that at least 20 percent of electricity sales come from renewable energy sources by 2020 and 25 percent by 2025. For Xcel Energy, the largest utility in Minnesota, the requirements are 25 percent and 30 percent, respectively.

Solar Energy Legislation (2013): Requires Minnesota's public utilities to generate sufficient electricity from solar energy, so by the end of 2020, at least 1.5 percent of the utility's retail electricity sales are produced from solar energy. Public utilities must comply with this solar standard in addition to fulfilling the Renewable Energy Standard.

Financial Incentives

Solar Energy Legislation in Minnesota contains important provisions designed to finance solar systems in the state.

Xcel Solar Incentive Program

Xcel Energy, which accounts for about half of the state’s retail electricity sales, must provide $5 million in financial incentives annually for five years to promote the installation of solar energy systems in its service areas. Eligible systems must have a capacity of 20 kilowatts or less to generate no more than 120 percent of the customer’s onsite annual electricity consumption.

More information is available at Xcel Energy - Solar*Rewards Program.

Made-in-Minnesota Solar Incentive Program

Photovoltaic - $15 million is allocated annually through 2024 to owners who install solar photovoltaic devices with a capacity no greater than 40 kilowatts. Devices must be certified by the Minnesota Department of Commerce as manufactured in Minnesota.

Thermal - $250,000 is allocated annually through 2024 to owners of residential and commercial buildings who install solar systems manufactured in Minnesota to heat or cool air or water. See more on the Minnesota Commerce Department's Solar Incentive Program.

Technical Assistance

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

DEED handles many of the business-development aspects related to the solar industry, including solar market opportunities, business financing and training, export assistance, and working with companies that wish to startup, expand or relocate in Minnesota.

  • Contact Kari Howe at 651-259-7437 for solar energy business development inquiries.
  • Contact Steve Riedel at 651-259-7494 for export-related assistance or to learn about solar energy opportunities in foreign markets.

Minnesota Department of Commerce

The department's solar industry webpage has information on incentives and rebates for energy products and investments.

It also provides a wide variety of data, reports, and information on the costs, financial incentives, benefits and challenges for solar electric systems.

Contact Stacy Miller at 651-282-5091.

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