In Minnesota, solar is increasingly accessible to everyone — including renters and condo owners. Peter Teigland is cofounder of Minnesota Community Solar.

Teigland: “It really expands access to solar to anybody who pays an electric bill, which is incredibly transformative.”

Xcel Energy is partnering with other companies to build large solar arrays that will power multiple homes in a community. It’s an effort to meet Minnesota’s goal of adding 450 megawatts of solar energy to the grid by 2020. Subscribers collect solar credits, even if they’re not able to install panels on their own homes.

Teigland: “People of all stripes have a demand for this sort of resource that can save them considerable money on their electric bills and really reduce their carbon footprint.”

In just the first month, there was customer demand for about 420 megawatts of solar — more than 90 percent of the state’s 2020 goal.

Teigland: “That’s the size of a medium natural gas generating plant.”

Given strong consumer demand, Teigland expects the goal to be met by the end of 2016. But with no cap on how much solar can be added to the grid, he says the sky is the limit.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photos source: Minnesota Community Solar.

More Resources
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Bruce Lieberman

Bruce Lieberman, a long-time journalist, has covered climate change science, policy, and politics for nearly two decades. A newspaper reporter for 20 years, Bruce worked for The San Diego Union-Tribune...