Community solar gardens are really taking off in Minnesota. There are several solar developers behind this big push, and it’s nice to know more about them.
We recently took the opportunity to chat with a developer that is new to Minnesota, Community Energy. We spoke with Amy Failing with Community Energy to learn more about their work and upcoming efforts.
CERTs: Can you tell me a little about Community Energy?
With over 15 years of leadership in the renewable energy industry, Community Energy has developed over 1,000 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar power generation nationally. These projects include hundreds of MW of utility-scale solar, as well as customer-sited and community-scale solar projects for businesses, universities, and residential customers. Community Energy currently operates three community solar gardens in Xcel’s Colorado program, also.
CERTs: How will Community Energy be involved in the Minnesota solar industry?
In 2015, Community Energy announced North Star Solar, a 100 MW solar energy facility in Chisago County, Minnesota, to be the state’s largest solar project. Community Energy is also developing a 2 MW community solar garden in Waconia, MN that is currently open to subscribers. Once completed and operational later this year, the project expects to produce enough electricity to power over 250 homes. The Lake Waconia project is the first in Community Energy’s plan to develop 10 MW of solar gardens in the state.
CERTs: Why did you decide to get involved with solar in Minnesota?
Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards Community Program has propelled Minnesota to the forefront of the burgeoning community solar industry. Minnesota residents have a unique opportunity to invest in local solar and save on their electric bill costs. Distributed renewable power like community solar gardens are an important piece of our energy future, and Minnesota is a state leading that charge.