Elizabeth Ries, Host of Twin Cities Live, visited one of US Solar’s local community Solar Gardens to learn how Minnesota’s community solar program works, and how residents, public entities, and businesses can save on electricity costs through a community solar subscription.
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation today announced two 25-year agreements with both US Solar and Nokomis Partners to purchase a total of 7.4 million kilowatt-hours annually from community solar gardens located throughout Minnesota. This is equivalent to approximately 24 percent of the agency’s total annual electricity use.
“The Minnesota Department of Transportation is pursuing solar energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money and support the health of people, the environment and our economy in Minnesota,” said Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher. “These community solar garden subscriptions are moving us in the right direction toward our sustainability goals.”
The agreements were a result of MnDOT’s recent request for proposals to enter into community solar garden subscriptions for its facilities and operations serviced by Xcel Energy.
The agency subscribed to 14 community solar gardens developed and owned by US Solar and nine community solar gardens owned by Nokomis Partners. The solar gardens will generate clean, renewable energy and provide energy savings to MnDOT in 18 separate counties. Six of the solar gardens are targeted to be online by early 2020.
Community solar in Minnesota allows businesses, public entities and residents to benefit from solar power even if their home or building cannot generate solar power on-site. Customers can subscribe to a community solar garden and receive a credit on their utility bill for their amount of subscribed energy produced each month by the solar garden.
The CW Twin Cities captures US Solar's Pollinator Community Celebration - an event where community members toured a US Solar pollinator-friendly Solar Garden and learned about native pollinators and honey-producing apiaries located onsite.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. and MINNEAPOLIS, June 11, 2019 -- Today, Walmart announced that it has reached an agreement with US Solar to subscribe to 36 of US Solar's community solar gardens located throughout the state of Minnesota.
US Solar’s 36 one-megawatt (MW) community solar gardens will generate clean, renewable energy and provide energy savings to Walmart locations in 13 separate counties. The first solar gardens have completed construction and the remainder are targeted to be online by the first half of 2020.
Community solar in Minnesota allows businesses, public entities, and residents to subscribe to an offsite solar garden without having to site solar directly on their property, thereby enabling subscribers to reduce their retail electricity costs while also supporting clean, local energy. Subscribers receive energy savings in the form of a bill credit on their retail electric bill based on the amount of energy produced each month by their subscribed portion of the solar gardens.
“Solar is a vital component of Walmart’s expanding renewable energy portfolio,” said Mark Vanderhelm, Vice President of Energy for Walmart Inc. “Walmart plans to tirelessly pursue renewable energy projects that are right for our customers, our business and the environment. This community solar gardens initiative with US Solar is moving us in the right direction toward our renewable energy goals.”
“We commend Walmart for their leadership in corporate renewable energy adoption and are proud to have Walmart as an anchor subscriber in so many of our projects, supporting further development of community solar in Minnesota,” said Martin Mobley, US Solar CEO.
The bill credits that Walmart will receive are based on Minnesota’s Value of Solar methodology, which takes into consideration the value of the solar energy delivered to the utility by the community solar gardens, as well as other grid and environmental benefits.
INFORUM: Community solar gardens can turn pennies from the sun into big savings over 25 years
Written By: Patrick Springer | Jun 9th 2019 - 7am
MINNEAPOLIS, June 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- United States Solar Corporation ("US Solar"), a leading community solar developer, announced today it has secured a project financing facility from the Alliance Fund II, LP, an affiliate of North Sky Capital which is advised by New Energy Capital Partners ("NEC"), a leading investor in clean infrastructure real assets. This capital will be used to support the development of US Solar's 100+ MW solar portfolio, with an initial focus on the Minnesota community solar market.
"U.S. Solar's strategy of developing grid interconnected community solar projects aligns with our focus of investing in small-scale, high quality clean energy infrastructure," said Ian Marcus, Principal at New Energy Capital Partners. "U.S. Solar's strength in the Minnesota market presents an attractive opportunity for NEC and we're pleased to add them as a development partner."
Mike Pohlen, Managing Director at North Sky Capital, added, "While we are geographically indifferent with respect to our investments, it is particularly exciting to partner with a leading developer in US Solar to build community solar projects in our home state of Minnesota."
"We are tremendously excited to be working with North Sky and NEC," said Marty Mobley, US Solar's CEO. "This facility will help us move forward in key markets with additional conviction and agility, while also allowing for significant scaling potential."
Since its founding in 2014, US Solar has focused on emerging "community solar" markets, which bring the solar opportunity both to owners of well-situated project sites and to electric customers unable to host a project onsite. Through its subsidiaries, US Solar identifies and contracts directly with property owners and electricity customers. Following early successes working with municipalities, school districts and corporate subscribers, US Solar plans to launch a residential pilot program in 2017.