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.