Xcel Energy customers have received another option for solar energy with a community solar project installed by a local Minneapolis nonprofit organization. Minneapolis Climate Action was behind a recently developed solar facility constructed atop the Second Chance Recycling roof. The Northeast Minneapolis mattress-recycling organization, known for providing employment to the recently incarcerated, is home to a community solar facility large enough to power the recycling plant and upwards of 100 homes.
According to Minneapolis Climate Action executive director, Kyle Samejima, the 182.8-kilowatt solar facility’s development was a major milestone for the organization. With the new community solar project installed by the nonprofit, homeowners have the opportunity to participate in renewable energy options and save money on their monthly utility bills. The arrays extend solar to tenants and homeowners otherwise unable to afford to install private rooftop panels.
With the new facility and under the State of Minnesota’s community solar program terms, homeowners and tenants can subscribe to solar installations in their counties as well as adjacent ones. Under this new facility by Minneapolis Climate Action, electricity generated from the solar arrays will be sold to Xcel Energy, which will redistribute it to subscribers that register to be part of the program. By registering, participants purchase a “share” of the facility.
The rooftop facility has been in the works for more than three years. Though it could have been completed earlier, Second Chance Recycling was in need of a new roof, which delayed the project. The first arrays were installed in November by Renewable Energy Partners, a notable name in the community solar industry. Originally, the facility was planned for Linden Hills, but the facility was a recommendation of Mike Wynne, president and CEO of EMERGE Community Development, which provided assistance with the facility.
As of the completion of the project, Minneapolis Climate Action set out to sell 130 shares of the new garden. More than 50 of them are expected to go to EMERGE.