Xcel Energy's Minnesota Community Solar Gardens (CSG) Program is nation leading and MnSEIA has played in instrumental role in the program's success. This year Minnesota will install over 300MW of community solar, and we expect the program to yield close to 700MW from the initial surge of applications filed in 2015. No other state's Community Solar Garden program comes close!
In 2013 MnSEIA lobbied for the CSG enabling legislation. Since that time, our staff has been working diligently at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to implement the CSG program in a way that maximizes the value for our developer members. As part of that process, MnSEIA has been able to successfully advocate for higher rates and program policies that benefit the developer community. Some of our work on CSGs comes from our work at the Solar Rewards Community Working Group, where we help facilitate a dialogue between developer's and Xcel Energy. We've helped head off disputes before they happen.
This year we will be lobbying at the legislative level to preserve some of our developer's rights to locate gardens near each other as has been established by the PUC. We've also pressed hard to keep the Value of Solar Rate, which is the rate paid to CSGs, at levels that create gardens and make them financeable, and we're working to get a Residential Adder established that would provide additional compensation to developers that have gardens with a significant portion of residential subscribers.