In Minnesota NRG Energy said that it has broken ground on its first five community solar projects in Minnesota, totaling 29.1 megawatts of solar power in Xcel energy’s service area. It also announced that serval national companies will source at least some of their energy from the community solar projects.
The subscriptions by these companies, which include US Bank, Land O Lakes, Macy's and Ecolab, will help assure that the projects are close to or fully subscribed when they are built. They also show that not just homeowners and municipalities are subscribing to community solar projects.
“We seek out partnerships that positively impact the environment and participating in this unique community solar garden initiative is a great example of that,” said Reba Dominski, senior vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility at US Bank. “We are proud to be a subscriber along with Land O’Lakes, Macy’s, Ecolab and others, and congratulate NRG for its leadership and investment in this important work. We are excited to see the positive impact the gardens will have on our communities.”
In all the company’s community solar farm projects now have more than 1,000 residents and the companies signed up for 25-year Solar Subscription Agreements (SSAs). Through the SSAs subscribers will receive the benefits of solar power in reducing their electric bill without putting it on their property.
“Across Minnesota we are hearing the same strong message from residents and businesses alike: they want to be powered by affordable, renewable energy,” said Drew Warshaw, Vice President, Community Solar, NRG. “Community solar gives them that opportunity – a simple, cost-effective path for residents and businesses to go solar without having to put panels on their roofs.”
Under the business agreements six US Bank locations in Minnesota will source power from the NRG solar farms. At the same time, three Macy’s retail sites are subscribing to the solar farms and several Ecolab facilities are subscribing to the solar farms. Land O Lakes will power its corporate quarters with power from the community solar projects.
“We’d like to thank Xcel Energy, Governor Dayton and the state legislature for supporting this innovative community solar program,” Warshaw added. “Their forward-thinking leadership—along with that of our flagship customers in four Minnesota counties—is paving the way for other states to follow suit.”
The NRG projects are the 6.7 MW Forest Lake Project in Washington County, the 6.1 MW Farmington Project in Dakota County, the 3.5 MW Pine Island Project in Goodhue County, the 6.7 MW Highway 14 Project in Olmstead County and the 6.1 MW Dodge Project in Dodge County. NRG added that the projects are slated to come online in 2017.Tweet