Minnesota ranks #18 in America for savings from installing solar panels on your home

Our complete guide to solar power in Minnesota

Minnesota solar power facts

$3.19
/watt

Average cost of a 5kw solar power system in 2016
Price shown before incentives

9
yrs

Average payback time

$19,734
 

Average lifetime savings
Price shown after repayments of capital


/kWh

Levelized cost of solar energy

26¢
/kWh

If you don't get solar
The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years

1,022
kWh

Power production
(per kW of peak DC solar panels)

 

 

Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of a 5kw system

Solar companies in Minnesota that provide pricing through the Solar-Estimate marketplace

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Get the facts about installing solar panels for your home in Minnesota

Solar power in Minnesota

Minnesota has a bit of a mixed bag when it come to Solar Incentives.

The Federal 30% Tax Rebate and net metering apply regardless of where you are in Minnesota but the utility level incentive changes depending on whether you are a customer of Xcel Energy or another utility.

Although Minnesota has a RPS ( Renewables Portfolio Standard) and a specific solar carve out it is one of those states where you have to give your solar carve out to the utility in order to get the utility level incentive and this is why we won't talk any further about solar carve out on this page.

The price of electricity in Minnesota is below the national average at $0.12 this combined with lots of snow sitting on Solar Panels at different times of the year means that payback times on a average 5kW system are out past 10 years.

Whilst this is not as good as some other states it is still a 10% return on investment which is not too bad in my book when I am only getting 1% on my money in the bank.

To put it another way whether i buy solar or not over the next ten years I spend the same on power.

If I don't buy solar then in ten years I face another 15 years of paying higher and higher power bills.

If I did buy solar in 2017 then in 2027 I am in the same position cah wise but I'm looking forward to 15 years of free power.

 

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Solar power in Minnesota

 

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Best brands of solar panels

To find the best brands of solar panels you can use America's most trusted solar panel comparison and reviews website, SolarReviews.

However, reviews of solar panels can be a bit meaningless because most consumer owners have not had any issues and so whilst solar company reviews are very important when choosing solar installers they are of less use when choosing solar panels.

For more information to help you make an informed decision about this topic, I would recommend this article about buying solar panels.

 

Unlock live pricing on the best solar panel brands!

 

I want to buy a solar panel kit and install it myself

How much electricity will solar panels produce in Minnesota

Solar panels produce different amounts of energy in different locations.

Around the Saint Paul area solar panels installed on a south facing 35 degree pitch roof will typically produce:

1,150 kWh per year per 1kw of peak DC (direct current) capacity

For more information about how your location, roof direction and roof tilt affects solar power production use the solar panels calculator and enter your address below.

What rebates, solar tax credits and other solar incentives are available in Minnesota?

Minnesota Power Performance Payments for Xcel customers

In Minnesota customers of Xcel energy can enroll in the Solar Rewards program, this pays up to $0.08 per kWh (kilowatt hour).

If you buy a 6kw system and install it on a south facing roof your solar power generation will be 7,413 kWh per year.

 


 

The solar carve out and Minnesota SREC's

Minnesota has a RPS ( Renewables Portfolio Standard) and a specific solar carve out it is one of those states where you have to give your solar carve out to the utility in order to get the utility level incentive and this is why we won't talk any further about solar carve out on this page.

This makes this incentive worth approximately $5,913 over 10 years.

System's up to 20kW sized to produce less than 120% of your usage qualify for this program.

Savings can be significant and this program is expected to run for about another 10 years. It also has an annual budget of 5 Million, get in early peeps.

Furthermore if you buy your panels from a Minnesota panel manufacturer you're able to get a $0.27 kWh on top of the Xcel payment, sweet.

Conditions and rules apply your local Solar Pro will be able help with this stuff.

 


 

Minnesota Solar Incentives for utilities other than Xcel Energy

The rebate incentive program run by the various Utilities in Minnesota pays different rates depending who you buy your power from.

Below is a table that shows the relevant info. It seems you need to apply for this rebate and conditions apply. Your local Solar Pro will have the info that is applicable to you.

Utility Rebate Amount Cap per system
Austin $500/kw $5,000
Brainerd Public Utilities $2,000/kw $4,000
Moorhead Public Service Utility $1,500/kw $30,000 total program budget
New Ulm Public Utilities $1,000/kw $2,000
Owatanna Public Utilities $500/kw $5,000
Rochester Public Utilities $500/kw $5,000

Conditions and standards apply and any rebate must be applied for prior to construction of a solar system.

 


 

Net Metering

Minnesota's net metering law, enacted in 1983, applies to all investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities, and electric cooperatives.

Each utility must compensate customers with systems less than 40 kW in size for net excess generation (NEG) at the average retail utility energy rate, defined as the total annual class revenue from sales of electricity minus the annual revenue resulting from fixed charges, divided by the annual class kilowatt-hour sales.

Compensation may take the form of an actual payment (i.e., check for purchase) for NEG or as a credit on the customer's bill.

There is no cap on the aggregate amount of net metered solar systems in Minnesota.

 


 

Cost of Solar Systems in Minnesota

You should be able to buy good quality solar power systems from reputable installers in the range of $3.20 to $3.70 per watt, before incentives and fully installed.

At this sort of price level you are talking about a payback period around 10 years a lot of people are OK with sort of payback time. Heck the solar panels warranty is for 25 years.

 


 

Is it better to lease or purchase solar panels in Minnesota?

Whilst third party ownership of solar panels Minnesota

has made various zero down solar lease and solar PPA products popular in MN generally speaking you will make far greater savings over the life of a system if you purchase your solar panels (whether with cash you have available or through a HELOC loan) rather than enter into a third party owned solar lease or Solar PPA agreement.

You can use the solar savings calculator to see the difference in the overall savings over the life of a system.

See also:
www.solarreviews.com/solar-energy/pros-and-cons-of-leasing-solar-buying-ppa-agreements/
www.solarreviews.com/free-solar-panels

Minnesota Solar Calculator

Regardless of what you want to know about the economics of installing solar panels for your home or business in Minnesota we have a solar calculator that can show you exactly the information your require.

 

You can either use our full monty solar calculator that shows you everything you could possibly want to know or you can use one of our range of smaller calculators for specific solar calculations that focus on providing you only with the specific information you require.

 


 

What you can find out about installing solar panels in Minnesota using our full monty solar calculator

This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - It tells you:

If you want to see all of the above but also see live pricing, the three best solar deals available in your city and get binding quotes from each of these solar companies then use this solar panels calculator. This calculator requires you to also input your name and contact details because most of our 200+ installer partners will only authorize the sharing of their live solar pricing where we have validated that you are a real homeowner with a home in their service area. We respect the privacy of your data and only share your contact details with the solar companies you ask us to get binding quotes from.

 

Unlock live pricing in your state!

 

Solar calculator

How much do solar panels cost in Minnesota

$3.10 per watt

Cash purchased solar system
Before 30% solar tax credit

$3.50 per watt

Financed solar system
Before 30% solar tax credit

15¢ cents/kWh

Lease/PPA
Av. 15 year term, 2.5% price escalator

What are the pros and cons of buying solar panels for your home in Minnesota

The advantages of installing solar panels solar panels in Minnesota is there is both state based incentives and the federal tax credit. In addition Minnesota also has a rebate if you purchase panels made in Minnesota, a win for you and local jobs, that's awesome.

The disadvantage of installing solar panels for your home in Minnesota is that there is less overall solar irradiation in Minnesota per year and so a solar system, produces a bit less than it would in some other areas. The other thing is power is cheap compared to many other states, and that's obviously not a bad thing but it pushes out payback times. However, the local incentives more than make up for this and I think Minnesota homeowners will be kicking themselves they didn't install solar panels while these generous incentives are still around. Enter your details to calculate the cost and savings you are likely to get from installing solar panels for your home.