Xcel Energy's Minnesota Community Solar Gardens (CSG) Program is nation leading and MnSEIA has played an instrumental role in the program's success. In 2020 Minnesota will install over 200MW 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 developers and Xcel Energy. We've helped head off disputes before they happen.
We've 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've worked to get a Residential Adder that provides additional compensation to developers that have gardens with a significant portion of residential subscribers. In 2019 we worked at the legislative level to properly reform the CSG program and maintain our national leadership status. You can check out the successful work we did with CSG's in 2019 here.
In 2020, MnSEIA has continued 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. Check out our 2020 legislative update here for the full details.
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.