Minnesota’s CSG program was created by state legislation in 2013 and has served as a roadmap for other states following our lead. As of 2022, there’s over 860 megawatts of community solar gardens in the state! Minnesota ranked 1st in the nation for the largest CSG program for years, but was unseated in 2022 by New York due to outdated rules and gridlocked negotiations. Updates to the program are needed to keep Minnesota a leader and create more jobs, economic opportunities, and clean energy across our state.
Since 2013, MnSEIA has been working diligently in our regulatory efforts at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to implement and enhance the CSG program. Other CSG initiatives MnSEIA's worked on include:
- Successfully advocated for higher rates and policies that help our developer members.
- At the Solar*Rewards Community Working Group, we’ve helped facilitate conversations between developers and Xcel Energy to help head off disputes before they happen.
- 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.
- Worked to get a Residential Adder that provides additional compensation for gardens with a significant portion of residential subscribers.
- In 2019, MnSEIA worked at the legislature to reform the CSG program and maintain our national leadership status. Learn more here.
MnSEIA continues to work with Xcel Energy, the PUC, and at the Minnesota Legislature to strengthen a now maturing community solar program. This includes removing the contiguous county restriction, working on Community Access Projects, and much more.
Community Solar Gardens are a vital part of the solar industry in our state and are crucial in Minnesota's transition to a clean energy economy. MnSEIA will continue to strengthen our growing CSG program and work with our partners to make sure it remains an integral part of Minnesota's solar economy.
Q: Who can join a Community Solar Garden?
A: Anyone within a utility’s territory that offers CSG subscriptions or has developers in their territory with openings can take advantage of Community Solar. Learn more on Minnesota Department of Commerce’s website and explore MnSEIA’s CSG Developer members here.
Q: Who owns the Community Solar Garden?
A: The utility or developer that built the CSG owns it, but subscribers “sign up” for a portion of the project. Subscriptions can often be easily transferred, paused, or stopped if you move.
Q: Why are Community Solar Gardens important?
A: CSG’s expand access to clean energy for more Minnesotans who traditionally can’t take part in solar. The solar industry is an important and growing market in Minnesota that creates jobs, tax revenues for communities, and investments in our state. Updating Minnesota’s CSG program will continue our history of a strong industry and model for other states.
- 10 Questions You Should Ask About Subscribing to a Community Solar Garden, by the Minnesota Department of Commerce
- Find CSGs in your utility territory, learn about subscribing to a CSG, and more on CERTs website
- The Vision for U.S. Community Solar: A Roadmap for 2030, by Vote Solar
- Find an accredited CSG developer on MnSEIA's website
- Community Solar Garden Developer Resources by Xcel Energy