Minnesota is a midwestern US state that is characterized by the abundance of its water bodies, ranging over 10,000 lakes. It is the 12th largest state area-wise, while in terms of population, it ranks on 22nd number. Due to its favorable geographical location Minnesota receives a sufficient number of peak sun hours throughout the year. During summers it receives an average of 5.3 peak hours.
Minnesota is among the top 15 solar states. The rapid progression and proliferation of solar energy in Minnesota can be attributed to the following factors:
- Favorable state solar legislation and policies
- Utility-specific action on solar
- Advancements in technology leading to more efficient solar equipment
- Reduced cost of solar equipment
Financial assistance through tax credits and incentives
The potential for solar energy generation in Minnesota is enormous. It can generate 38.5% of its electricity from rooftop solar only. According to Solar Reviews, the capital cost of installing solar panels in Minnesota has been reduced to 80% over the past ten years. Currently, the average cost for solar panel installation in Minnesota is $3.07 per watt.
The Solar Potential Analysis Report states that, by 2025, Minnesota has the capacity to generate 10% solar at a cost comparable to natural gas generation.
In Minnesota, solar generation experienced a tremendous increase in the previous decade. The state’s capacity for electricity generation increased from 1 MW in 2009 to 598 MW in 2017. According to technical calculations, Minnesota will produce 14 to 22 GW of electricity in 2022. This increase is also reflected in the solar job market in Minnesota. In 2015, 1995 people were deployed in solar-related jobs, while in 2018 this number rose to 4,602.
Solar Friendly Legislation in Minnesota
In 2013, Minnesota introduced a net metering rule according to which the customers generating up to 1 MW of electricity will be credited at the retail rate for the excess electricity they produce and give back to the grid. Previously, the cap was set at 40 kW.
State’s Mandate for Utilities
In 2013, the state’s legislature introduced a mandate according to which investor-owned utilities were required to produce 1.5% of electricity from solar power by the year 2020.
Renewable Portfolio Standard
The state of Minnesota also introduced a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) according to which the utilities will have to generate 25% of electricity from renewable sources of energy.
The following statistics give us a glimpse of the state of solar energy in Minnesota
- Solar Installed (MW): 1,677.7
- National Ranking: 15th (29th in 2021)
- Percentage of State’s Electricity from Solar: 3.66%
- Solar Jobs: 3,993
- Solar Companies in State: 147 (34 Manufacturers, 46 Installers/Developers, 67 Others)
- Total Solar Investment in State: 2.5 billion
- Prices have fallen 4% over the last 5 years
- Growth Projection and Ranking: 1,464 MW over the next 5 years (ranks 22nd)
- Number Of Installations: 11,176
Need For Solar Panel Disposal Solution
Minnesota is making multiple efforts to tap its true potential for solar generation. Ambitious targets and solar-friendly legislation have put Minnesota on a path of achieving energy sufficiency through the use of solar energy.
However, the rapid proliferation of photovoltaic technology also raises the alarming question about the decommissioning and disposal of end-of-life solar panels. Most experts agree that recycling old solar panels is the most cost-effective and eco-friendly waste disposal option for solar waste.
If you are looking for decommissioning or large-scale solar panel recycling solutions in Minnesota, contact We Recycle Solar. We provide recycling solutions for solar panels, batteries, and other equipment. Our processes are safe, efficient, and compliant with all federal and state laws.
Looking for decommissioning or large-scale Minnesota solar panel recycling solutions?
Unless otherwise noted, all data from SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight