CERTs Community Solar Garden resources

CERTs releases suite of consumer resources for Community Solar Garden projects

The Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) have been receiving questions from across Minnesota about Community Solar Gardens. During many of these conversations it became clear that communities needed resources they could use to help subscribers understand how community solar works and what they needed to know.

To meet these needs, CERTs and our partners have compiled a suite of resources open for use by individuals, communities, and solar companies alike to help everyone make well-informed decisions regarding Community Solar Garden projects.

CERTs Guide to Community Solar Gardens

Download CERTs Guide to Community Solar Gardens

The CERTs Guide to Community Solar Gardens provides an introduction to key concepts and definitions. It was created to illustrate how community solar gardens work, why people might be interested in subscribing, how much solar energy people need to meet their needs, and who the various players are who make a project possible. You can also see elements of the guide nicely laid out on the CERTs Community Solar webpage.

Download link: http://bit.ly/certscmtysolar0

Download the Disclosure Checklist
Subscriber Agreement Disclosure Checklist

The Minnesota Public Utility Commission issued an Order on April 7, 2014 on Xcel Energy’s Community Solar Garden Program (Minnesota Public Utilities Docket No. E002/M-13-867). The Order, among other points, requires Community Solar Garden operators to disclose to prospective subscribers certain categories of information related to the project. To help prospective subscribers decide which project might be the right fit, the Clean Energy Resource Teams, Minnesota Department of Commerce—Division of Energy Resources, Minnesota Solar Energy Industry Association, and Minnesota Renewable Energy Society have developed a document outlining what any Subscriber Agreement should address and highlighting the questions that can be asked up front to ensure a clear understanding of the subscription and its terms. This disclosure checklist will also be available on Xcel Energy’s website.

Download link: http://mncerts.org/csg-disclosure

Download the Subscriber Questions
Questions Subscribers Can Ask of Operators

This document begins by briefly introducing Community Solar Gardens and what you should know as a potential subscriber. It then continues with questions that you can ask operators as you move forward. Questions relate to the company and their project, subscription pricing and compensation, and subscription terms. This document was produced by the Clean Energy Resource Teams, Minnesota Department of Commerce—Division of Energy Resources, Minnesota Solar Energy Industry Association, and Minnesota Renewable Energy Society. All of these groups know that educating subscribers is one of the best possible ways to ensure success for all parties in Minnesota’s emerging community solar market.

Download link: http://mncerts.org/csg-subscribers

Download the Community Tip Sheet
Community Solar Garden Tips for Communities

The mission of the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) is to connect people with the resources they need to plan and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. CERTs works with communities—cities, counties, schools, neighborhoods, and other community organizations—to help them and their residents and businesses move forward with projects. To this end, the tip sheet features key questions communities could ask to learn more about Community Solar Garden projects and the developers and operators of said projects.

Download link: http://mncerts.org/csg-community

You can download all of these resources and also see current community solar utility programs, frequently asked questions, and more at http://mncerts.org/solargardens


Get Answers blog series The Get Answers series on the Energy Stories Blog offers useful tips from CERTs and our partners to help you get to the bottom of your energy efficiency and renewable energy questions. Click here to see more stories in the series >>


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.

Where do you want to start?

Community Solar Gardens

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