In South Minneapolis, we’re all about community-based projects. We’ve got a community garden, a co-operative grocery store, and now we’ll have community solar.
Community Solar Comes to Longfellow
In 2014, Longfellow’s first community solar garden will be installed on East Lake Street business Northern Sun with the help of local energy company Applied Energy Innovations. According to AEI, Northern Sun’s rooftop will produce 40 kilowatts of solar energy, which is enough to power 8-10 homes. Northern Sun owner Scott Cramer will lease out a portion of the rooftop panels to subscribers, something that he wouldn’t have been able to do prior to the Solar Energy Jobs Act that was passed this spring.
Subscribing to Solar
The new legislation will allow Xcel customers to subscribe to community solar gardens and receive credits on their electrical bill from the energy that the panels produce. This provides access to solar to community members who otherwise might not benefit from the technology – those who live in an apartment building or who don’t have access to enough rooftop sunlight.
According to energy organization Fresh Energy, the bill allows “any group or organization to develop a solar garden, and there’s no limit on the number of projects or combined capacity of solar gardens within the utility’s service territory. Each project must have at least five subscribers. The gardens may be either ground- or roof-mounted and can be as large as one megawatt.”
“We are excited to be a part of history, and to engage both Xcel and the city of Minneapolis in the design, project management, construction, and interconnection with the grid,” stated Dustin Denison, Principal of AEI. “This is about better access to clean energy at more affordable prices, and about local jobs for Minnesotans,” he added.
Becoming a Host Site
There are a few requirements to becoming a solar host site. The site must be larger than 1,500 square feet and the roof must be in good condition.
For more information on how to become a host site or to subscribe to community solar, contact Peter Teigland of Applied Energy Innovations at 612-532-0384 or check out the requirements online.
*Image courtesy of Applied Energy Innovations.
Edited (7/2/13 at 4:00 p.m.) to add that people interested in subscribing to community solar can also contact Peter Teigland.