Original article at My Broadsheet.
On Thursday morning, Mayor R.T. Rybak announced Minneapolis’ first community solar garden at Northern Sun on East Lake Street. He was joined by Dustin Denison and Ken Bradley of Minnehaha Avenue-based Applied Energy Innovations. The solar garden will be installed on the roof of Northern Sun next year.
Community solar gardens provide a unique opportunity because they allow residents who don’t have the option of installing solar panels to take advantage of solar energy.
From Applied Energy Innovations:
Community Solar Gardens generate clean energy that benefits everyone. Subscribers save money on their electric bills; hosts can turn their rooftops and brown-fields into clean energy power plants; utilities get closer to their renewable energy goals; and our carbon footprint gets smaller.
The vast majority of residential roofs in America are poorly suited for solar panels. They’re too shaded, or face the wrong direction, or aren’t owned by residents – renters or condo owners. Community solar arrays are developed on buildings or properties that are well-situated for solar production. Arrays are professionally maintained for maximum power production and cost savings over an extended lifetime. The solar garden’s production is measured as it enters the grid, and then divided into credits on subscribers’ bills. A subscription to a MN Community Solar garden credits customers’ energy bills every month, saving them money for 25 years.
Any customer receiving an electric bill from Xcel Energy every month is eligible to be a subscriber. Customers can subscribe to up to the equivalent of 120% of their average annual consumption of electricity. Subscriptions are good for 25 years of solar generation. If customers move out of that Garden’s territory, they can cancel their subscription for its remaining worth. If customers move into a new home or office, or sign a new lease nearby, their subscription stays with them.