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Solar incentives shine opportunity on Minn.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced the 2014 incentive amounts for its 10-year, $15-million-a-year Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program that will officially launch January 1, 2014.

This means that for the Minnesota residents and businesses that apply and receive the incentive, the cost to install a solar electric system will be much more affordable, boosting Minnesota’s solar energy generation.

“Made in Minnesota solar incentives are a big step forward on our clean energy path, helping to create more clean energy jobs, diversify our renewable energy resources, and provide an opportunity to generate solar electric power,” said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman.

This program is one tool that will help the state achieve the new solar electricity standard, which calls for 1.5 percent of electric sales from investor-owned utilities to come from solar electricity by 2020.

The 2014 Made in Minnesota program is estimated to increase the state’s solar capacity by more than 6 megawatts, an increase of about 43 percent.

The solar incentive program will be available to customers of the following investor-owned utilities: Xcel Energy, Alliant Energy, Minnesota Power, and Otter Tail Power

Applications will be accepted annually on the Commerce website between January 1 and February 28 each year through 2023 and will be selected by lottery.