solar panels for your home minnesota

In 2020, US Solar installed 36,590 kW in Minnesota, which is enough electricity to power approximately 6,000 homes. Members see a guaranteed savings of 10% on their monthly energy bills. The Mankato Community Solar garden is located in Lafayette, Minnesota. In fact, a 2019 Zillow report found that homes with residential solar systems sold for 4.1% more than their non-solar neighbors. (Read “Good.
solar panels for your home minnesota

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Solar and Sustainability

St. Francis Solar Landing 

Solar energy can be used to generate electricity, to provide hot water, and to heat, cool, and light buildings.

Minnesota is a great place for solar energy.  Believe it or not, much of the Midwest has the same solar potential as Tallahassee, FL and Houston, TX! Through a combination of utility rebates and new technology, solar electricity continues to become more affordable and a more common part of our energy system.

Interested in your own solar energy system?
Wondering if a particular site in Minnesota is good for solar energy? The Minnesota Solar Suitability App can help. This tool displays the solar potential of every spot in the state of Minnesota. With this data, and the services provided through this application, home and business owners can easily identify the solar potential of their property.

How can I find a solar business?
Minnesota is home to many solar businesses. The Clean Energy Project Builder is a great place to find an assortment of clean energy businesses including solar installers, community solar garden developers, energy auditors and more.

Wondering what questions to ask? Check out The State of Minnesota’s list of questions to ask potential renewable energy installers

How can I find a community solar garden?
Community Solar Gardens are centrally-located solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that provide electricity to participating subscribers. 

Xcel Energy customers can participate in projects offered by private developers. Members of other utilities in Minnesota can subscribe to a community solar garden if one is offered by their electric utility.

Connexus Energy customers can subscribe to the “SolarWise” community solar garden program.

Follow this link for great resources to learn more about if community solar is right for you.

What is St. Francis doing around solar energy?
St. Francis is participating in SolSmart, a national program that provides free technical assistance with addressing local barriers to solar energy. Through this program, St. Francis is working to make it easier for residents and businesses choose solar energy.

Is Financing Available for Solar Energy Projects?
Residents interested in installing photovoltaic solar panels (the kind that produce electricity) on their property can access financing through the Center for Energy and Environment. Click here for more information.

Businesses can finance solar energy projects through a tool solar panels for your home minnesota “Property-Assessed Clean Energy”, or PACE, in which energy-saving measures are paid for through property taxes. This can work well even for businesses that rent their space. More information on PACE financing is available here.

Interested in Employment in the Clean Energy Sector?
The MN Clean Energy Job Board is a tool that job seekers can use to find jobs in the energy efficiency and renewable energy fields, and that employers can use to post their latest openings. 


St. Francis is a Step 1 - GreenStep City

Minnesota GreenStep Cities is a voluntary challenge, assistance and recognition program to help cities achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals. GreenStep is a gree, continuous improvement program, managed by a public - private partnership, and based upon 29 best practices. These actions are tailored to all Minnesota cities, focus on cost savings and energy use reduction, and encourage civic innovation.   


Renewable Energy Options

There are different opportunities for residents and businesses to source some or all of their energy from renewable sources. Ranging from on-site installations to subscription programs, there are different options available to best suit your needs.

Renewable Energy Subscriptions: Renewable energy subscriptions are a great opportunity for homeowners, renters, and businesses owners to access renewable energy.

  • Xcel Energy Electric Customers: Xcel Energy’s Windsource® is a renewable energy subscription program that allows residential customers to source some or all of their electricity from wind energy. Sign up at
  • Dakota Electric Customers: Dakota Electric’s Wellspring Renewable Energy® gives customers the option to subscribe to some or all of their electricity from renewable wind and solar energy.  Sign up at
  • All Customers: Community solar gardens are great opportunity for homeowners, renters, and business owners to subscribe to renewable energy. You will receive a monthly bill credit based on how large your subscription amount is. Visit to find a garden operator and a list of questions to ask before subscribing. 

On-site Renewable Energy: You can install solar panels on your home or business. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Determine your property’s solar potential: It’s important to consider your solar potential before deciding if installing solar panels is right for you. You can get a sense of your property’s solar potential by using the Minnesota Solar Suitability App. Visit
  2. Talk to the City: It’s important to talk to the City about your project so you know what permits are needed and confirm that your project is compliant with City Code. Contact Anthony Nemcek, Planner, at (651) 322-2090 or at [email protected] 
  3. Select a contractor: Use the Clean Energy Project Builder online directory to search for qualified solar installers. Contacting more than one installer will help you compare bids and make the best choice. Clean Energy Project Builder also has a list of questions you should ask solar installers. Visit

Utilizing solar energy in your new home is a great way to increase efficiency while reducing your home’s environmental impact. As one of the top solar home builders in the Minneapolis area, Amaris Homes can help you decide whether installing a solar voltaic system is the right choice for your new home. In evaluating solar, we take into account the location of your home, the solar resource available and the financial incentives available in your utility service area. Federal and State tax credits and rebates may also be available that may impact your decision making process.  

Solar Energy Building Design

Typically, integrating a solar photovoltaic system into your home can reduce your electricity needs by 50-75%. If you are looking to change the energy consumption necessary to run your home, Amaris is the solar home builder Minnesotans count on to provide solar system installation at a reasonable price.

By integrating home photovoltaic systems into custom-built homes, we provide yet another benefit that sets our homes apart. Reducing utility bills is a part of the equation, but there is also a reduced environmental impact that matters to our customers. We help Minnesotans reduce their carbon footprint and make a green impact you can’t get with traditional sources of energy. We take pride in our ability to help our customers turn to solar for their energy needs.

Solar-Ready Energy-Efficient Home Designs

Because we are fully committed to renewable energy for homes, every Amaris-built home is Solar Ready as part of our partnership with the Department of Energy and the Zero Energy Ready Program (if there is a solar resource available for solar panels for your home minnesota lot). This means the solar panels for your home minnesota is designed with open up chase business account facing exposure and the roof trusses are designed to carry the extra load of an eventual solar system. There is also an electrical chase, or if the solar voltaic systems are designed the system can be prewired. 

Solar Integration

Amaris Homes has designed several net zero energy homes requiring no electrical usage on an annual basis  Depending on the utility service area you live in and what incentives solar panels for your home minnesota available to you, installing a solar voltaic system may be something to seriously consider. Amaris Homes is the only custom home builder in Minnesota that designs and installs solar voltaic systems as part of its everyday product offering. As an additional incentive to install solar as part of the initial new home construction, Amaris offers solar integration at substantial savings that you would otherwise pay in full for a typical solar installer.  As a result, our customers enjoy very attractive returns (Internal Rate of Return – IRR) on their solar investments.

Solar Retrofitting

Some customers seek to go further than our standard green building practices and desire a home that generates electric power. Depending on the service area you live in and what incentives are available to you, installing a solar voltaic system may be something to seriously consider. Because Amaris Homes is a Westinghouse Solar Dealer, we have the unique opportunity to integrate solar into any Amaris built homes at a fraction of market pricing. You can reduce your electric needs by 50-75%.


Remodeling your home or designing a custom home isn’t all about what’s inside. There are several things you can do to the exterior of your home to upgrade it. One of those things is adding solar panels.

There are arguments for and against adding solar panels, of course. As they gain popularity, they have become a very good choice for many, but are they a good choice for you? Here are the pros and cons you want to consider before adding solar panels to your home.

Pros of Solar Panels

Solar union savings bank com come with several advantages for homeowners. Let’s look at just a few of the most important advantages.


The main reason homeowners may consider adding solar panels is the environment. With this renewable energy source, it’s not necessary to use as much gas and electricity. When you don’t need as much traditional energy, you will cause less harm to the environment. Solar panels don’t have a very large carbon footprint and they will help you reduce your home’s emissions.


While adding solar panels to your home won’t make you a full off-grid person, it will provide some independence. You won’t need to rely on the utility company nearly as much, which means when a blackout happens or the power goes out; it may not impact you at all. Becoming energy independent is a great way to ensure you family is safe and you are no longer relying on someone else to provide your power.


Another huge reason why you may be considering solar panels for your home is the savings on energy bills. You will be able to draw from the energy created by these panels making it less necessary to pay for electricity or natural gas. In fact, some homeowners can actually eliminate their electric bill completely.

In addition to the savings on bills, installing solar panels may allow you to gain tax breaks on the state, local and federal level. There’s also the option to sell any excess energy back to the electric company.

One-Time Cost

For the most part, you will only need to pay for your solar panels once. They do require some maintenance, but the costs are very low compared to the many years you can use these panels to generate power. When you add up the cost of your electric and gas bills over the course of three to five year, it’s easy to see how the one-time cost is an investment in your future.

Cons of Solar Panels

While there are several advantages to adding solar panels to your home, they aren’t perfect. There are some disadvantages that come along with solar panels, too.

High Cost to Get Started

One of the biggest deterrents for homeowners with solar panels is the high start-up cost. However, there have been some government programs and tax breaks that help to mitigate this cost. If you solar panels for your home minnesota get help with the cost, it could be very large, depending on the size of the solar system you prefer.

Those homeowners not able to afford a large system can start off small with a system capable of being expanded. Even powering just a portion of your home with solar panels can help to reduce energy bills and your carbon footprint.

Not as Reliable

The sun doesn’t shine 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means, solar panels won’t always run perfectly. If it’s cloudy, you may not get the same power as you get during a sunny day.

A good solar system will become more reliable with a power bank added to it. Adding a power bank large enough to store power for several days will ensure you always have the power you need, even when a few cloudy days roll through.

Panels Require Maintenance

While solar panels don’t require a ton of maintenance, you’ll be the one in charge of any maintenance they do require. When the power systems go out and you’re on the grid, the electric company handles the repairs. With solar panels, it’s up to you.

If severe weather causes damage, you may need a large repair. Of course, solar panels can be covered by homeowner’s insurance, but you may be without your system while it’s being repaired.

While there are several pros and cons to solar panels, mayo clinic civic center mankato most, they are a certain solar panels for your home minnesota. Gaining a little bit of power independence, while saving on your utility bills is a big win for many homeowners. This is especially true if you invest in a large enough system to sell power back to the electric company and eliminate your entire bill.

Tagged Adding Solar PanelsSolar Panels


Minnesota farmers reaping the rewards of solar energy installations

This blog post is an excerpt of the original story by Tim Krohn at Mankato Free Press.

Ellen Anderson, who worked for two decades in state government on renewable energy and is now with the University of Minnesota Energy Transition Lab, said the progress on renewables has been breathtaking. “When we first started talking about this, we were told that renewables would never be more than 1 to 3 percent of total (energy generation),” she said. Today 23 percent of total production is from renewables and the state’s goal is for more than 25 percent in the coming years.

Anderson along with Mike Bull, of the Center for Energy and Environment, and Hal Kimball, solar installation specialist with Blue Horizon Energy of Plymouth, spoke to farmers Wednesday at the MN Ag Expo in Mankato. “Wind and solar are now pricing much lower solar panels for your home minnesota traditional generation,” Bull said. “There’s a massive transition to renewables in Minnesota.” All three said that right now solar is where it’s at for farmers. “Solar is the most practical and viable option out there now,” Kimball said.

He said that in recent years many farmers have contracted to rent their land for other companies to install large solar gardens. That rent brings about $1,000 per acre each year. But he said a farmer building his on solar panel array with batteries can see $7,000 to $10,000 in energy production each year, using only about one-fifth acre of land.

From CERTs: Click here to learn about model land leases and click here to learn more about installing solar on your own land.

The panel said a variety of financing options (like Property-Assessed Clean Energy) are available to build a solar array and still good tax incentives, although they will begin expiring in coming years. There is a 30 percent federal income tax credit for solar investments. And under the recently passed federal tax bill, farmers can depreciate 100 percent of the project the first year.

There are also U.S. Department of Agriculture renewable energy grants available, although competition for them is stiff. And the group said some farmer co-ops offer assistance programs, and utility companies also have strong solar-purchasing programs.

Anderson said a law called “net metering” requires utilities to buy at retail price any excess power generated by a solar energy system owner. Anderson said that means app t mobile tuesday even if a farmer’s energy needs drop significantly in the future, they can be assured they can still sell their solar power to keep the cash flow positive during the life of the system.

Beyond individual benefits for farmers, the panel said the rapid growth of solar and other renewables is a big boost to rural economies. Bull said two of the fastest-growing jobs in the country are wind turbine techs and solar installers. Those jobs, he said, start at $40,000 to $50,000.

Click here to read the full article >>

  Project Examples in Minnesota

It’s often useful to learn about what others have done to think about solar panels for your home minnesota that could work for you.

All of the examples below feature renewable energy and energy efficiency projects at Minnesota farms and small businesses.

This article from The Land talks about the rise of solar in particular on Minnesota farms for controlling energy costs.


Farm or Business




Case Study

Ronningen Dairy West Concord Solar PV Tax Credits Learn more
Bridgeview Farms Zumbrota Solar PV Made in Minnesota, Tax Credits Learn more
Enchanted Meadows Dairy La Crescent Solar PV REAP, Tax Credits Learn more
Jorgenson Hog Farm Westbrook Solar PV, Wind REAP, Tax Credits Learn more
Featherstone Farm Rushford Solar PV Grant Learn more
Popp Family Farm Royalton Solar PV, Wind REAP, Utility Learn more
Gibbs Dairy Altura Solar PV Utility Learn more
Guentzel Family Farms Solar panels for your home minnesota Lake Solar PV Tax Credits Learn more
Fuller Family Farm Trimont Solar PV, Geothermal Tax Credits Learn more
Otten Bros. Flower Farm Delano Solar PV PACELearn more

Renewable Energy for Greater Minnesota

Find out how you can power your farm or business with the Renewable Energy for Greater Minnesota program


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