Learn More About Solar + Energy Storage in Minnesota

Fast Facts About Solar Energy in Minnesota

Click on each underlined header below to see MnSEIA's handy one-pagers!

Does Solar Work In Minnesota?

Yes! Despite our cold and snowy winters, Minnesota is a great state for solar. Cooler weather actually improves panel efficiency.

Busting Common Myths About Minnesota Solar

There's a lot of misinformation about solar energy. We hear people say that solar can't be recycled, that it's using all our farmland, that it weakens our grid, and much more. These myths hurt our industry, small businesses, and Minnesota workers.

How Does Solar Help my Community?

Solar provides tax benefits, land lease payments, jobs, grid upgrades, and much more to communities. See how it can help your schools, lower electric bills, keep family farms in business, and more at the link above!

Can Solar Panels be Recycled?

Yes! More than 80% of a solar panel can be recycled. Panel recycling is very important to MnSEIA members and we’re developing statewide recycling frameworks with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Why Are Solar Projects Built on Farmland?

Solar has countless benefits to help increase a farm's productivity and diversify its revenue stream. A farmer's annual income is very uncertain, but solar can provider a consistent stream of drought-resistant revenue and economic security. See more about the benefits to local pollinator populations, crops, and animals in our one-pager above!

What's a Community Solar Garden?

Minnesota is famous for our Community Solar Gardens - we have over 860 MWs of them! Learn more in our guide above and see more about CSG legislation here

Going Solar in Minnesota

What tax credits or incentives could I qualify for?

  • See what incentive programs, rebates, and tax credits you could qualify for on the DSIRE website. The database includes information on solar energy, electric vehicles, energy efficiency projects, and more!
  • The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a 30% federal tax credit that is extended until 2034 with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA.) Learn more about the IRA and what other incentives you can qualify for on CERTs website.
  • Learn more about financing your solar project here.

Do I have a good site for solar?

  • The MN Solar App is a good place to start. It uses a combination of Lidar and GIS technology to provide solar suitability for the entire state of Minnesota.
  • Google Project Sunroof can also give you a personalized estimate on the costs and savings.

More Resources:

Finding a Qualified Solar Installer

Tips for Choosing Your Solar Installer:

The solar + energy storage industry takes the experience of its customers seriously. We believe that every installation should be safe, reliable, and meet the customers’ expectations. Choosing to go solar is a big commitment! Do your homework, ask lots of questions, and take your time choosing an installer.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce, "Highly recommends that consumers take their time and exercise due diligence when hiring a qualified solar installer, because proper installation requires many considerations and attention to detail to ensure a safe, productive, and long-lasting system." More tips from Commerce are:

  • Explore MnSEIA's list of solar installers who serve Minnesota and the surrounding areas and abide by our Code of Conduct.
  • Get multiple bids. As with any other home improvement project, it's important to talk to multiple contractors before making a final decision.
  • Make sure the installer and the licensed electrical contractor are in good standing with the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI.) To verify the status of licenses, go to the DLI License Lookup tool.
  • Do not prepay for the entire solar system upfront. Your installer should only request a down payment in the beginning.
  • Ask for a detailed bid contract so you can understand all the work to be done and who is performing it (including subcontractors), all equipment and materials to be installed, timeframes for completion, payment terms, and the process for any change orders.
Sample Questions to Ask Your Installer:

You've decided to go solar - awesome! Choosing a solar installer is an important piece of your clean energy journey. Below are some sample questions to consider asking potential installers.

  • How long has your company been in business? How many installations have you completed?
  • What are the credentials of the installers who will be working on my system? Are they NABCEP certified?
  • What is included in your solar site assessment?
  • What is the system size? Approximately how much energy will it produce?
  • Will I be compensated for any excess electricity my solar system produces?
  • What if something goes wrong? Who should I contact with questions after my system is installed?
  • Do you provide a maintenance or service warranty? If so, what does it cover and how long does it last?
  • What incentives could I be eligible for? Will you help me apply for incentives?
  • How much do I pay up front, and how much over time, for how long?
  • Will I be required to make any changes to my home (such as roofing upgrades)?
  • What should I expect for maintenance or cleaning after my panels are installed?
  • Will you work with my electric utility to interconnect my system to the grid? Are there any interconnection costs?
  • Will you apply for any necessary permits? (This depends on the local jurisdiction but can be building, plumbing, electrical, zoning, or other permits.)

Adapted from CERTs list of questions to ask installers, the MN Department of Commerce's Guide to Going Solar, SEIA's "Smart Solar Guide", and the Department of Energy's website.

Consider Joining a Solar Co-op

Solar co-ops help a group of neighbors go solar together. They're a way to simplify the process of going solar by negotiating solar contracts as a group, often helping secure a better group rate. As Solar United Neighbors puts it, "Imagine walking into a solar company’s office with 50 or 100 of your neighbors and saying, 'We all want to get solar. What kind of deal can you give us?' That’s a solar co-op!"

Learn more and join a co-op with Solar United Neighbors.

What if I Can’t Add Solar to My Home?

Join a Community Solar Garden

If you're a renter, live in a multi-family home, or don't have a suitable roof for solar - there are still ways to access clean energy! Community solar gardens (CSGs) are a local solar facility managed by a solar developer that sends clean energy to your utility’s power grid. Homeowners, businesses, schools, and more can “subscribe” to the CSG and receive a credit towards their utility bill.


  • Potential utility bill savings
  • The opportunity to support clean energy
  • No physical equipment or upfront costs for the subscriber
  • Increases solar accessibility for renters, low-income residents, homeowners with shaded roofs, and others who can’t add solar to their own roof
  • Improves grid resilience and reliability
  • Support native pollinator habitats - CSG developers plant native pollinators around and under solar panels which reduces water run-off, improves soil quality, and helps pollinator populations. Many different crops thrive under solar panels too!
  • Supports local Minnesota businesses, produces family-sustaining jobs, and creates tax revenues in the communities that host CSGs

Find a community solar garden:

Minnesota's largest CSG program is through Xcel Energy. If you are in Xcel Energy territory, you can sign up for a CSG through a community solar developer. Explore MnSEIA's CSG members here to see your options. Reach out to the companies directly to see if they have space in a solar garden for you. 

If you are not an Xcel Energy customer, your utility or co-op may still offer a community solar option or something similar. You can always ask your utility if they have a community solar garden and if there are any subscriptions available.


Explore a Career in Clean Energy

Solar and Energy Storage Industry Job Boards

Minnesota Clean Energy Job Board 

Managed by: Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs)

CERTs also has a detailed and informative page on careers in the clean energy industry including statistics on the number of jobs available and upcoming, pay by position, information on necessary training, diversity statistics, and more for finding a job in clean energy.

Midwest Career Board

Managed by: Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA)

National Renewable Energy Career Center

Managed by: Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE)

National Careers in Solar Energy

Managed by: Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)

MnSEIA's Young Professionals in Clean Energy

MnSEIA's Young Professionals in Clean Energy is a networking group for young people working across the clean energy industry in Minnesota. Whether you're a seasoned professional or just starting out in your career, our community is here to support your journey.

Learn more here and join the email list here.

Diversity and Inclusion Resources

See our statement on Diversity and Inclusion in the solar and storage industries and resources for your business.

Get Resources

*Please note that the resources on this page are not, and were not intended to, constitute legal advice from MnSEIA or otherwise. All information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.

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