Grow Solar

In 2012 and 2013, Minneapolis residents and businesses participated in a group purchasing program for solar that Cooperative Energy Futures ran in partnership with Applied Energy Innovations. For 2014, Cooperative Energy Futures has launched a new solar leasing program, which allows participating residents to install solar on their homes for no money down. Click here to visit the current program.

Grow Solar Status Update 12/31/2013:

All participants in the first round of Grow Solar were submitted to the Xcel Energy rebate process on March 11th, 2013, and Xcel responded in July by awarding 3 of the 24 applications that applied. Xcel requested and received approval from the Department of Energy Resources to offer awards for 2014 to current 2013 applicants to use up the end of its Minnesota Bonus program. These awards were allotted in December 2013, and none of them were made to Grow Solar applicants. Thus, while 24 CEF members signed up for this program with 83kW of solar planned, only 3 received installs, totaling just over 9kW. Members who applied during 2013 are currently being supported in the current round of rebates.

ABOUT THE 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 COfrom 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.

PROGRAM ADVANTAGES:

  • 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!

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