Solar & Wind News

By MN Dept. of Commerce    February 10th, 2016
The number of solar jobs in Minnesota more than doubled during the past two years and, thanks to solar-friendly state and federal policies, the job surge is expected to continue, according to the 2015 Minnesota Solar Jobs Census from The Solar Foundation, Minnesota Department of Commerce, and BW Research Partnership. The Census, compiled by The Solar Foundation and funded in part by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, reports that Minnesota added 1,131 solar workers between 2013 and 2015, a 131 percent increase. Nearly 2,000 Minnesotans are currently employed statewide in solar-related... Continue reading
By Peter Lindstrom    February 9th, 2016
When Chuck Dougherty, owner of the Water Street Inn and Cover Park Manor in Stillwater, began researching solar panel installation, the high cost of the project made the upgrade seem unlikely. Then his preferred solar panel company recommended he apply for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. According to Dougherty, the Saint Paul Port Authority’s PACE program was quick and easy to understand. The team at Water Street Inn and Cover Park Manor are looking forward to increased energy savings and reducing their impact on the environment. In fact, Chuck has already... Continue reading
By Diana McKeown    February 8th, 2016
Solar panels made in Minneapolis? You betcha! Itek Energy opened their Minneapolis facility just over a year ago, in January of 2015. We spoke with Paul Krumrich to learn more about their burgeoning business. Getting settled: Headquartered in Washington State, Itek Energy started production of solar panels in 2011, and partnership with Spye Inc. was Itek’s first step to bringing their panels into the booming Minnesota solar market. Solar installers Powerfully Green and All Energy were the initial two installers in Minnesota utilizing Itek panels. Itek spent 2015 getting their foot... Continue reading
By Dan Thiede    February 3rd, 2016
The federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Production Tax Credit (PTC) were recently extended. Set to expire at the end of 2016, both will now continue to support clean energy in Minnesota for several years. We interviewed Mike Rothman, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, to learn more about the importance of these tax credits to Minnesota and what the extension means for the industries in our state. As Commissioner, Rothman oversees the Department’s broad jurisdiction of more than 20 regulated industries. Rothman’s top priorities include consumer protection, a clean... Continue reading
By Anna Carlson    February 3rd, 2016
What is REEGP?   The Renewable Energy Equipment Grant program (REEGP), provides Minnesota Weather Assistance Program (WAP) providers grant funding to install renewable energy equipment in low-income households. The statute that appropriates these funds specifically calls for the installation of renewable energy equipment in households; however, historically, the state provided funds to help make heating systems more efficient (the first program retrofitted oil burning furnaces). In keeping with the original intent, REEGP was designed to provide supplemental heat through the... Continue reading
By Frank Jossi    January 15th, 2016
This article was originally published in Midwest Energy News by Frank Jossi. Less than a week after a Minnesota co-op announced it had sold out shares of its formerly struggling solar garden, solar developer Sunshare announced it has sold out its first project in Waverly, a town 35 miles west of Minneapolis. The Sunshare Waverly project has five co-located solar gardens, each of which has a capacity of one megawatt (MW). Under Minnesota state law, solar gardens are limited to 1 MW each, and regulators last year imposed a limit of five co-located gardens – per developer – at any one site... Continue reading

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