With only a one megawatt capacity for solar power in 2007, Minnesota’s solar power generation used to be insubstantial. However, remarkable growth during the first quarter of this year expanded the state’s capacity to over 1,000 megawatts. The decision to vastly ramp up the state’s solar potential was tied to the economic benefits of this renewable energy source.
Dan Thiede, communications director for Clean Energy Resource Teams, explained that the community solar program in Minnesota, started in 2013, has already been a powerful driver of job growth in the state. As one of the cheapest energies to build new, solar provides incentives for investors and saves both individuals and businesses money. While solar still only meets about 2% of the state’s energy needs, the state’s goal is to reach 10% solar by 2030.
To reach this goal, Minnesota plans to expand their solar farms. Additionally, individual businesses adapting solar also contributes to meeting this goal.
St. Cloud, MN business owner, Leo Zimmerman, explained his motivations to install solar panels in the lot of his business in 2018. “It kind of wipes out the electricity bill,'' he said, and the panels provide a shelter for some of the equipment for his business. It’s a win-win.
Even in the less sunny states, Minnesota stands to show that sun-powered energy is still an incredibly viable energy option.
Imaged sourced from: Flickr