Minnesota has abundant solar energy. In fact, Minneapolis and Saint Paul were named "Solar America Cities" by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 2008. Solar energy is key to reaching the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan goal of sourcing 10% of our total electricity from local and directly purchased renewables by 2025.
- Solar electricity – also called photovoltaics – is the use of sunlight to directly generate electricity.
- Solar thermal systems use sunlight to provide heat for domestic hot water and space heating. Passive solar thermal uses siting principles or building components like concrete or stone to absorb and store heat from the sun. Active solar thermal systems use collectors and mechanical components to supplement a building’s heating needs.
As a member of the Clean Energy Partnership, the City of Minneapolis is committed to increasing solar opportunities for the community. Learn more about these resources below:
The City of Minneapolis has built the Find My Solar Suitability application, which allows you to find the potential for solar PV on any structure in the city.
Information on solar radiation, shading, roof slope and roof size was used to analyze all structures, and provide an estimate of the maximum size and output of a solar energy system. More information about the Find My Solar Suitability application.
- Xcel Energy's Solar*Rewards program makes it more affordable for homeowners and businesses to install photovoltaic (PV) solar panels through a one-time payment of $2.25 per installed Watt.
- The Made in MN Solar Incentive Program offers an incentive to consumers who install PV and solar thermal systems using solar modules and collectors certified as manufactured in Minnesota.
- Federal incentives--including tax credits--can help make investments in a solar system more affordable. ENERGY STAR has a full list of tax credits for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) manages the Clean Energy Project Builder, a database that allows you to search for solar installers in your area.
The City of Minneapolis has a special permitting process for residential solar electric systems: be sure to use the permit applicant checklist to make the process quick and easy.
The State of Minnesota provides a Solar Business Directory which includes installers, financial consultants, and other businesses involved in the solar industry in Minnesota.
- Minnesota Renewable Energy Society
- Minnesota Department of Commerce: Division of Energy Resources
- Department of Energy: Solar
- Case study: Minneapolis solar installations in the Energy Innovation Corridor (PDF)
- CERTS Solar Energy Technology Resources
Last updated Mar 25, 2016