Community Solar Gardens – CERTs
Community Solar Gardens are centrally-located solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that provide electricity to participating subscribers. Could it work for you? Are you interested in going solar but unable to do so on your own? Perhaps you live in an apartment, have a shaded roof at home, or don’t have space at your organization. CERTs has compiled useful guides, consumer and community question lists, FAQs, current programs, and much more.
Solar Energy Basics – US DOE EERE
A good place for other basic information about solar—covers photovoltaics, solar heating, and solar lighting.
Small Solar Electric Systems: A MN Guide – Minnesota Department of Commerce
More and more Minnesotans are asking if they can use solar energy to power their homes. You’ll find some of the answers here.
A Consumer’s Guide to Buying a Solar Electric System – National Renewable Energy Laboratory
This document covers pros and cons of investing in a PV system, how to pick an installer, how to fulfill permit requirements, how to get a net metering agreement, and other topics.
Simple Steps to Solar Factsheet – Residential – Clean Energy Resource Teams
When you’re interested in planning a solar energy project, knowing the basic steps can take a lot of the confusion out of the process. This factsheet walks you through six steps to planning a residential solar project: (1) Get educated, (2) Start planning, (3) Get bids, (4) Sign contract, (5) Install solar, and (6) Share your success. Get started today!
Simple Steps to Solar Factsheet – Business & Farm – Clean Energy Resource Teams
When you’re interested in planning a solar energy project, knowing the basic steps can take a lot of the confusion out of the process. This factsheet walks you through six steps to planning a farm or business solar project: (1) Get educated, (2) Start planning, (3) Seek advice, (4) Get bids, (5) Install solar, and (6) Tell your story. Get started today!
Rural Minnesota Solar Initiative Factsheet – Clean Energy Resource Teams
The Rural Minnesota Solar Initiative is a resource to help farmers and small business owners learn more about how solar can work for them, and provide the needed assistance to catalyze projects. This factsheet covers the basics of the program, highlights best practice projects from around Minnesota, and lets you know how you can take action.
Solar-Powered Water Pumps & Electric Fences Factsheet – Clean Energy Resource Teams
Electric fencing can be powered by solar photovoltaic energy, perfect for temporary, portable, or remote applications. Solar photovoltaic-powered water pumps are a versatile and cost-effective way for you to provide water remotely. Download this factsheet to learn more about both technologies and how they could be utilized on your farm.
Solar Energy Systems for Small Commercial Businesses – Brian Ross, CR Planning, Inc.
Small commercial businesses in Minnesota frequently have both interest in and opportunity to invest in solar energy. This document describes the basic process for businesses to assess opportunities and barriers to making solar energy investments and how to move forward with installing a solar energy system. The document outlines the following steps: (1) Understand your options; (2) Assess of your solar resource; (3) Assess your building; (4) Bidding and installing your solar energy system.
Renewable Energy and Schools: A Step-by-Step Guide – Minnesota Renewable Energy Society
This guide provides a step-by-step approach to help navigate the sometimes obscure process of creating a successful renewable energy project that meets the school’s educational, sustainability, fiscal and environmental goals. The guide lays out a general process, but also provides examples of details and technical information, as well as educational, financial, and technical resources available to schools.
Incentives & Financing
DSIRE: Minnesota Incentives for Renewable Energy – North Carolina Solar Center & IREC
The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is a clearinghouse for state policies related to renewable energy and energy efficiency. Their database is organized by state and can be searched by technology.
Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a new way to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to the buildings of commercial property owners. Energy-saving measures pursued by the owners receive project financing and repay it as a separate item on their property tax assessment for a set period. PACE eliminates the burden of upfront costs by providing low-cost, long-term financing.
Guaranteed Energy Savings Program (GESP) Financing
The Guaranteed Energy Savings Program (GESP) promotes awareness and implementation of energy efficient and renewable energy measures in public facilities to provide millions of dollars in annual energy savings in Minnesota. To do this, GESP supports you every step of the way.
Federal Funding and Incentives:
Utility Grant Program:
Utility Rebate Program:
Minnesota Solar Electric Rebate Report: 2002-2008 – Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources (April 2009)
Report summarizing both Phase I and Phase II of the Minnesota Solar Electric Rebate Program. Minnesota achieved a milestone of more than one megawatt of total solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity in 2008. The Minnesota Solar Electric Rebate Program offered financial assistance for most of this development, along with federal incentives.
Stray Voltage Resources
Here at CERTs we have been getting a few questions recently about stray voltage with regards to clean energy project, so we thought it would be useful to share some resources for people to learn more. While stray voltage can be a concern in certain situations, it’s unlikely to arise when work is done by professional contractors in partnership with electric utilities.
Companies & Consultants
Clean Energy Project Builder
The Clean Energy Project Builder connects you with the clean energy industry by helping you find companies that can work with you to plan, implement, and manage clean energy projects. The Clean Energy Project Builder directory allows you to browse companies; to search by specific technologies like wind and solar or services like engineering, operations & maintenance, or legal services; to find companies near you using geographic search; and to find companies through a range of other details like service area, company age, or completed project capacity. Once you have found companies that you want to follow up with you can create a portfolio that allows you to tag them, organize them, and export your lists to a PDF. Compiling a list of qualified companies for your request for proposals just got a whole lot easier! It is also easy and free to add your company to the Clean Energy Project Builder directory.
Hiring a Renewable Energy Installer – Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources
This document lists a number of questions that you should ask a renewable energy installer before you hire them—a very handy resource to ensure that you’re vetting potential companies appropriately.