At a time when the Minnesota Legislature is considering a proposal that would create a solar electricity standard, community solar projects are gaining popularity. Six weeks from now, Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association will begin construction on Minnesota’s first community solar program, with the goal of having the project completed by Memorial Day.
A community solar program gives utility customers and other members of the designated community the option to buy solar panels that will be included in an array built in a communal location, rather than on the purchaser’s roof or in their backyard. Participants receive the benefit of a monthly credit on their electric bill while avoiding the cost of maintaining the panels. To enroll in Wright-Hennepin’s program, located in Rockford, Minnesota, participants purchased panels priced at $869 each. The 171 panels in the array sold out in four months.
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