Over the past few years, the costs of solar energy have significantly decreased and efficiency has increased. Now is the right time for exciting and intentional solar investments.
Hoot Lake Solar
We're planning to build a nearly 50-megawatt solar farm in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Construction may start as early as 2021.
Minnesota’s Solar Energy Standard
In 2013 Minnesota legislators enacted a Solar Energy Standard (SES) that requires Minnesota electric investor-owned utilities to provide at least 1.5% of their sales from solar energy by 2020. For us, this is 20 to 25 megawatts. And at least 10% of this requirement must come from systems 40 kilowatts (originally 20 kilowatts) or less.
We purchased Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), which are credits for purchasing renewable energy and associated benefits, from the renewable energy market. These SRECs enable us to create a low-cost bridge to comply with Minnesota's SES until solar prices decline to a level that would make solar part of a least-cost energy mix for our customers.
Publicly Owned Property Solar program
To help meet the 10% carveout in the Minnesota SES, we offer our Publicly Owned Property Solar program to Minnesota customers. This program offers cash incentives to publicly owned facilities that install qualifying solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
Home and business solar installations
As an Otter Tail Power Company customer, state incentives, special rates, and tax credits are available for qualifying solar installations connected to our power grid. And if you don’t consume all of the solar energy you produce, we’ll credit the excess generation on your bill through our Net Metering Rate. If your solar PV system capacity is less than 40 kilowatts (kW), we purchase excess generation at retail rates. If your solar PV system capacity is greater than 40 kW, we purchase excess generation at our avoided cost.