Solar Energy

Solar energy can be used to generate electricity, to provide hot water, and to heat, cool, and light buildings.

Minnesota is a great place for solar energy. Believe it or not, much of the Midwest has the same solar potential as Tallahassee, FL and Houston, TX! Through a combination of utility rebates and new technology, solar electricity continues to become more affordable and a more common part of our energy system.

Interested in your own solar energy system?


The Minnesota Solar Suitability App can help can help determine if a particular site is good for solar energy. This tool displays the solar potential of every spot in the state of Minnesota. With this data, and the services provided through this application, home and business owners can easily identify the solar potential of their property.

How can I find a solar business?


Minnesota is home to many solar businesses. The Clean Energy Project Builder is a great place to find an assortment of clean energy businesses including solar installers, community solar garden developers, energy auditors and more.

Wondering what questions to ask? Check out The State of Minnesota’s list of questions to ask potential renewable energy installers

How can I find a community solar garden?


Community Solar Gardens are centrally-located solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that provide electricity to participating subscribers. 

Xcel Energy customers can participate in projects offered by private developers. Members of other utilities in Minnesota can subscribe to a community solar garden if one is offered by their electric utility.

Follow this link for great resources to learn more about if community solar is right for you.

What is Clay County doing around solar energy? 


Clay County is participating in SolSmart, a national program that provides free technical assistance with addressing local barriers to solar energy. Through this program, Clay County is working to make it easier for residents and businesses choose solar energy.

Clay County owns an entire solar array that is part of the Moorhead Public Service’s Capture the Sun Community Solar Garden

Follow this link to see the energy production for Clay County’s solar array!

Is Financing Available for Solar Energy Projects? 

Residents interested in installing photovoltaic solar panels (the kind that produce electricity) on their property can access financing through the Center for Energy and Environment. Click here for more information.

Businesses can finance solar energy projects through a tool called “Property-Assessed Clean Energy”, or PACE, in which energy-saving measures are paid for through property taxes. This can work well even for businesses that rent their space. More information on PACE financing is available here.

Interested in Employment in the Clean Energy Sector? 


The MN Clean Energy Job Board is a tool that job seekers can use to find jobs in the energy efficiency and renewable energy fields, and that employers can use to post their latest openings.

Helpful Links

Solar Ordinance Code

Solar Permit Checklist

Solar Permit Application Form