December 12, 2017

Press Release: Largest Residential Community Solar Gardens in Minnesota, likely Nation | SunShare & Xcel Energy

  • Posted in:   Blog
  • Written by  SunShare

SunShare and Xcel Energy Deliver Clean, Renewable Energy in Largest Residential Community Solar Gardens in Minnesota, likely Nation

Thousands of Minnesotans benefit while improving the environment

Minneapolis, MN – SunShare and Xcel Energy are recognizing that as of Dec. 1, residential subscribers have a larger stake in the nation’s largest community solar program. Two solar garden sites, located in the cities of Montrose and Waverly, are generating more than 14 megawatts DC of solar energy and boast 100 percent residential subscribers. With more than 2,400 subscribers, these are the largest residential-only community solar gardens in the state thus far. SunShare administers the gardens, which are unique in their focus on residential subscribers for their gardens.

These community solar gardens are part of more than 200 MWs of community solar expected to come online throughout 2018 under Xcel Energy’s Colorado and Minnesota Solar*Rewards Community® programs. SunShare has developed and subscribed customers for 58 MWs expected to come online in 2017 in Minnesota.

“We recognize that our customers and communities want more renewable energy options, said Lee Gabler, senior director customer solutions, Xcel Energy. “We’re happy that these gardens are now online and delivering clean, renewable energy to our customers.”

In the past few years, community solar has gone from a new concept to the point where statewide programs are now opening up in states such as New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Illinois, to name a few. In addition to statewide programs, dozens of utilities are now creating these programs for their customers who cannot otherwise use on-site or “rooftop” renewable energy, making community solar one of the fastest-growing sectors in the clean energy space.

SunShare currently serves more than 3,500 residential subscribers, who make up approximately 85% of the total capacity in the 28 Minnesota gardens SunShare administers. The remaining capacity serves multiple commercial subscribers and municipalities, including the City of Waverly, who was instrumental in supporting the community solar garden program and secured a special discount for its residents who chose to participate. An additional 3,000 SunShare subscribers who have already signed up will begin receiving Xcel Energy bill credits as payment for the solar energy produced from other gardens that will be coming online over the following months.

“We are thrilled to see our commitment to residential community solar come to fruition,” David Amster-Olszewski, SunShare’s Founder and CEO, said. “Community solar was created to bring opportunities to people who can’t install solar on their rooftops. A lot of developers bring those benefits to businesses and governmental entities, but only a few of us focus on making sure that individual households can participate. Xcel Energy has been a tremendous enabler of our mission to bring the choice of renewable energy to large numbers of residential customers.”

SunShare still has several more Minnesota community solar gardens in development, so those interested in subscribing can visit mysunshare.com or call 800.793.0786 for more information.