Minnesota community solar reaches 400 MW milestone

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While many states are taking the initiative create community solar programs, with CleanChoice Energy launching its Maryland venture last week, Xcel Energy’s Minnesota community solar program continues to grow at an exponential rate. Now, less than half a year after reaching 300 MW program capacity, the program has grown to over 400 MW installed, according to data published by the Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR).

Source: Institute for Local Self Reliance

Image: Institute for Local Self-Reliance

As of August, the program has roughly 300 MW of capacity still pending construction, helping to feed this exponential growth and further distance it from the peers that it really doesn’t have.

ILSR also provides breakdowns of subscription statistics by customer type and installed capacity, finding that residential customers represent 92% of total subscribers, or roughly 7,000 subscriptions. However, residential subscriptions only make up 10% of subscribed capacity, due to the fact that the small 5% sliver in yellow and 2% sliver in green represent small and commercial general services. These general services represent commercial and industrial customers who, as businesses, use much more energy than residential customers need.

Source: Institute for Local Self Reliance

Also worth note is the 33% of generation directed towards “public entities.” This means that a third of overall production is being utilized by publicly-owned buildings, like the state’s schools and police stations. The public entity classification is a new, as public buildings previously fell under the “general service commercial” denotation, which would explain the 32% decrease in general service capacity since March.