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Solar Gardens Growing in Minnesota Towns

The Twin Cities and greater Minnesota are planting a new type of garden to help the region grow its use of renewable energy. There are currently seven solar gardens in the state that are producing 32 megawatts and there are plans to get the amount up to 96 megawatts. The goal is to give homes in Apple Valley MN and surrounding areas more solar energy options

These solar gardens are the work of Xcel Energy, BHE Renewables and Geronimo Energy. Xcel Energy is aiming to produce a third of their energy from renewables by 2030, and solar power plays an important role in their ambitious plans. The gardens, which were developed by Geronimo Energy, are owned and operated by BHE Renewables. Each of the current seven solar gardens produce three to five megawatts of electricity that are then used by Xcel Energy customers.

The solar gardens are a new way of getting the community involved in supporting renewable energy sources. Rather than individuals, businesses, non-profits and others purchasing private solar panels for their home or building, they subscribe to one of the organized solar gardens. They then receive a credit on their bill for the power their solar panels produce.

There are currently seven solar gardens in Rosemount, Farmington, Northfield, North Branch, Taylor Falls, Paynesville, and St. Joseph. The plan for the solar gardens was first approved in early 2014 by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, with the goal of increasing access to renewable energy for both businesses and homes in Apple Valley MN and throughout the state. The solar gardens and other sites and projects have received strong support, with the bonus of creating new jobs and having other positive economic benefits. By the end of 2017, Xcel Energy also plans to have 262 megawatts of large-scale solar online to further help them achieve their goals of increased clean energy.

Apple Valley has the motto: Plant. Grow. Prosper. This motto, paired with the growing number of solar gardens throughout the state, makes Minnesota a great place to call home. Contact Key Land Homes today to learn more about their homes and communities where you can take advantage of positive projects like this and more.

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