Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards Community program now has 40 active community solar gardens delivering more than 100 megawatts of clean, renewable energy to customers – making this the largest community solar garden program in the country.
Xcel Energy currently has more than 139 megawatts of clean, renewable energy online from solar gardens across Minnesota. There are nearly 180 solar garden projects totaling more than 475 megawatts currently in the design or the construction phase. Xcel Energy estimates that up to 150-200 additional megawatts could be online by the end of the year.
Community solar gardens reflect Minnesota’s growing commitment to renewable energy. The solar gardens are an alternative to private solar panels; residents, business owners, nonprofits and municipalities may purchase subscriptions to a solar garden without having to install solar panels on their own roof or property. Subscribers receive credit on their bills for the power their panels produce. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved the program in early 2014 to improve access to renewable energy for businesses and residences in Minnesota.