Sundial’s Community Solar Program
Community Solar in Minnesota allows any Xcel Energy customer to participate in the benefits of solar energy without having solar panels on their roof. Larger, more cost-effective roof-top solar projects are built nearby and any Xcel ratepayer can then buy a “subscription” in that project that entitles them to a “solar credit” on their monthly Xcel utility bill for the next 25 years. Sundial has a number of community partners that help us offer a unique community solar program for Xcel customers. Here is how it works:
- Any Xcel customer (homeowners, renters, small businesses, non-profits) can buy subscriptions in a community solar project. Customers can buy a subscription of one kilowatt, or enough to cover 120 percent of their total annual electrical use.
- Each kilowatt of subscription entitles the subscriber to a community solar bill credit on their monthly utility bill for the next 25 years. The amount of the credit is based on actual, measured output from the solar project in “kilowatt-hours” times a special rate for community solar that is higher than the rate for electricity from Xcel’s coal-fired or nuclear power plants.
- Sundial finds good community solar sites, designs and builds the solar projects, and operates and maintains the solar projects. Sundial works with its community partners to sell subscriptions to Xcel customers and these community partners receive a one-time payment for every subscription they help to sell.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a subscription cost?
The cost of a subscription is $1,700-1,800 per kilowatt. That compares to a likely cost of $3,500 to $4,500 per kilowatt to install your own solar project.
How much will I receive in bill credits?
The typical residential customer will receive an average of about $200 a year for each kilowatt of subscription they purchase. That amount is after deducting the costs for operation and maintenance of the system.
Do I need to pay all of the costs for a subscription upfront?
Some community solar projects offer financing that allows potential subscribers to pay a smaller amount now, and the balance of the cost over time from the credits they receive.
Am I required to make a commitment for 25 years?
No. You can sell, trade or donate your subscriptions to another qualified subscriber at any time. You are required to transfer your subscription if you move out of the area or otherwise no longer qualify to be a subscriber.
What do I need to do next if I am interested?
Look at the more detailed information on this website and find a community solar project that interests you and that has subscriptions available. You can make a small deposit to reserve your subscription in projects that are under development.
Additional Community Solar Background
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