This report, done for the Solar Works for Minnesota campaign, explores the value of solar power on schools, libraries, and other public buildings in Minnesota. It was co-authored by John Farrell of ILSR and Christina Mills of IEER.
- Minnesotans spend more than $20 billion dollars every year on these energy imports.
- With an estimated $378 million dollars in electricity costs for Minnesota’s public buildings, there is a significant opportunity for cost savings.
- Hennepin County alone pays more than $9 million every year to provide electricity to its offices, hospitals, jails, libraries, courts, and other buildings. That’s equivalent to over $8 per resident.
- 87% of Minnesota voters support increasing the use of solar power in the state, and 82% of Minnesota voters support policies that encourage the use of solar specifically on Minnesota’s schools.
- Solar PV could generate as much as 30% of the electricity needs of all Minnesota’s schools.
What Policies Would Help
- A study of the precise solar potential for public building rooftops
- A solar energy standard (e.g. 10% by 2030)
- A CLEAN (Clean Local Energy Accessible Now) program to promote simple financing for solar
- Enable the public sector to partner with the private sector to install solar
- Streamline the local permitting process
- Establish spending criteria for Xcel Energy’s Renewable Development Fund that promotes solar on public buildings
- Modify Minnesota’s net metering law to allow buildings to size their on-site solar array to load, even if the latter is greater than 40 kilowatts