NRG Energy advances 29.1MW of Minnesota community solar

NRG Energy has broken ground on its first five community solar projects in Minnesota totaling 29.1MW, while reaching 25-year subscription agreements with four major companies and more than 1,000 residents.

The projects include Forest Lake  in Washington County (6.7MW); Farmington in Dakota County ( 6.1MW); Island in Goodhue County (3.5MW); Highway 14 in Olmstead County (6.7MW) and

All of the projects are scheduled for completion by early 2017.

Corporate subscribers include US Bank, the fifth largest commercial bank in the US; Land O’Lakes, a $14.2bn member-owned agricultural cooperative; Macy’s, a leading retailer; and Ecolab, a water, hygiene and energy technologies and services company.

“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.”

Business and residential customers in Minnesota subscribe to an NRG community solar farm by signing a 25-year subscription agreement.

Electricity generated at the solar farm goes to the local utility’s grid. Customers then receive a bill credit from their utility — in this case, Xcel Energy — for their subscribed share of the electricity produced by the community solar farm.

“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.