As solar technology continues to improve and prices continue to decline, we expect solar energy eventually will be part of a least-cost energy mix for our customers.
About 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 our sales from solar energy by 2020. For us, this is 20 to 25 megawatts (MW). And at least 10% of this requirement must come from systems 40 kilowatts (originally 20 kw) or less.
In 2017 and 2018 we purchased Solar Renewable Energy Credits, or SRECs, which are credits for purchasing renewable energy and associated benefits from the renewable energy market. The SRECs enable us to create a low-cost bridge to comply with Minnesota's Solar Energy Standard 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 Solar Energy Standard, we offer our Publicly Owned Property Solar program to Minnesota customers. The program offers cash incentives to publicly owned facilities that install qualifying solar 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. 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 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. Learn more about how to connect to our power grid.