Minneapolis residents and businesses are participating in a group purchasing program to reduce dependency on rebates and the uncertainties of going solar. In summer 2013, the program is expanding across the Twin Cities based on community interest. Interested residents, neighborhood groups, and local governments wishing to bring Cooperative Energy Future’s bulk buying programs to their community should contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (612) 568-2334.
Download the April 2013 Press Release for the Grow Solar program: April 2013 release
All participants in the first round of Grow Solar were submitted to the Xcel Energy rebate process on march 11th. We are just starting to hear back from Xcel on these applications, and will be responding to our members who participated in this project as soon as we have news. 24 CEF members signed up for this program with 83kW of solar in the works. This is part of a larger project including outreach from the Kingfield neighborhood and Applied Energy Innovations with a total of 42 participants and 133 kW of solar.
Please check out our pricing and financing page for details on Grow Solar prices, incentives, and available financing.
To learn more:
A series of workshops about Grow Solar and other bulk buy programs will start in June 2013. Please check back in May for locations and dates – if you want us to host a workshop in your neighborhood, please contact us as soon as possible at email@example.com Phone: (612) 568-2334
PROGRAM: An initiative organized by Cooperative Energy Futures (CEF) and Applied Energy Innovations (AEI) to enable easy and affordable installation of solar electric through bulk purchase discounts, utility rebates and federal incentives. The program is open to all business and residential property owners. The Grow Solar program supports residents and small businesses through steps of the process, including site assessments, financing options, expedited permitting, installation, and interconnect agreements. By working as a group, we have been able to drive down the cost of going solar to $5/Watt installed (see our pricing and financing page for details).
ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS: Minnesota imports approximately $20 Billion for energy annually. Minnesota has no fossil fuels; no natural gas, no oil and no coal. The average American home uses more than 11,000kWh of electricity every year, resulting in the emission of 23,122lbs per year of CO2 from burning coal, a scientific contributor to global/warming and climate change. Solar electric panels create no emissions in the production of clean energy and most installations can come close to producing 100% of the property’s energy needs.
DEADLINE: Enrollment in the second phase of Grow Solar opened in April 2013 and has the following deadlines:
- Schedule your MRES Solar Site Assessment by August 15, 2013
- Sign a Letter of Intent with down-payment by September 15, 2013
- MRES (Minnesota Renewable Energy Society), a non-profit, provides deeply discounted unbiased, experienced, professional solar site assessments with no sales pressure
- We have negotiated direct manufacturer relationships for solar arrays – no middle man
- Expedited permitting reduces permit fees and faster turnaround
- Reduced shipping and delivery cost through bulk buying
- Federal Tax Credit of 30% – able to roll over for 5 years towards future tax liability
- The cost of a 3kW solar array (adequate to power an average home) is $10,500 after incentives. This is equivalent to locking in current electrical rates (~$0.11/kWh) for the 25+ year life of the panels, insulating you from the risk of rising electrical prices. Check here for more details on pricing and financing.
- While Xcel Energy rebates are already fully subscribed for the coming years, the Grow Solar program will harness any of the currently pending legislative actions (eg. the value of solar rate or Minnesota Made solar bonuses) to drive costs down further.
- You can help drive volumes up and costs down: invite friends, family, and neighbors!
STEP 1: Sign Up
STEP 2: Solar Site Assessments
MRES (Minnesota Renewable Energy Society) non-profit, provides unbiased, experienced, professional solar site assessment in two stages with no sales agenda! These are highly discounted on-site assessments that cost $175 for Residential properties and $235 for Commercial properties. These assessments include:
- Solar Pathfinder Readings
- Digital Documentation of Site Characteristics
- Identification of any pertinent remodeling or structural improvement plans
- Siting location of potential equipment.
Participants should sign up at MRES Solar Site Assessments that must be completed by August 15th, 2013 to participate in this round. Make sure to check the “Grow Solar” box on the assessment form:
STEP 3: On Site consultation
Applied Energy Innovations will meet with you to discuss the results, product/capacity of your roof and cost of your installation. AEI is a South MPLS based NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practioners) Renewable Energy Contractor. AEI maintains a triple A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and 4 stars Angie’s List recommendations.
STEP 4: Letter of intent/deposit
After site design, a letter of intent and deposit of $1500 will be required as a placeholder which will be applied towards your full purchase price. This must be completed by September 15th, 2013 to participate in this round. The letter of intent and deposit will be applied in the following manner:
- A portion of this deposit ($25) automatically enrolls you in lifetime membership in Cooperative Energy Futures, which is required to access this program. Non refundable
- A portion of this deposit ($250) will pay for design and site planning for your project. Non refundable.
- A portion of this deposit ($250) will pay for processing and administrative expenses. Non refundable.
- The remaining $975 will be applied and help throughout the enrollment process and later applied towards equipment. Refundable.
STEP 5: Installation and Commissioning
After the September 15th 2013 deadline, a down payment of 50% will be required. Installation will be scheduled, permits will be pulled and commissioning/start-up will be arranged with utilities and inspectors.
Get started with the first step by signing up for an MRES Solar Site Assessment and check the box for “Grow Solar” at:
You can also call Steve Haslach at Applied Energy Innovations (612) 532-0384 for more information about the solar technology and design process used.