Solar gardens, community solar programs, and municipal buildings with solar panels are popping up all across Minnesota. That’s because the renewable energy sources of solar and wind are now the two cheapest forms of energy in our state. Over the past seven years the cost of solar energy in the Midwest has dropped by 85%.
For Minnesotans, renewable energy means more than lower utility bills, it also means less mercury in our lakes and pollution in our air. The increase in solar programs also means good paying jobs for Minnesotan’s in every part of the state.
Communities across the state are part of this momentum. Here are just a few examples.
The city of St. Cloud has embraced the use of solar energy in a real way! Today the city has two solar arrays at its waste water treatment plant with others at their police station and two fire stations. Over the next decade city officials predict the city’s energy cost will drop from about $3 million per year to about half a million, due in part to their investments in solar.
Earlier this year Central Municipal Power Community Services announced a community-based solar option for residents in Blue Earth, Granite Falls, Janesville, Kasson, Kenyon, and Sleepy Eye. Subscribers pay fees to cover a share of the costs associated with the solar panels and in return they receive credits to offset their utility bill.
In March, after being awarded a Minnesota Municipal Power Agency’s Hometown Solar Grant, the East Grand Forks school board approved a solar panel installation at South Point Elementary School. Schools have been drawn to solar technologies. In addition to saving energy, the panels provide great student learning opportunities.
Visit the News Stream on our website to find the latest renewable energy and conservation news throughout Minnesota.
The future of renewable energy is exciting. At Conservation Minnesota, we will continue to ensure Minnesota remains a leader.