Minnesota’s Department of Commerce has launched a PV incentive programme aimed at boosting the proportion of solar-generated electricity in the state.
The ‘Made in Minnesota’ solar incentive programme will launch on 1 January 2014, making US$15 million a year available for residents and businesses who install PV or solar thermal systems.
Minnesota passed a bill earlier this year that will see solar account for 1.5% of the state's energy by 2020, rising to 10% by 2030.
The department said the annual pot from the 10-year programme would be roughly equally divided between residential and commercial systems, with around US$250,000 reserved for solar thermal rebates.
The programme will be available to customers of the investor-owned utilities Xcel Energy, Alliant Energy, Minnesota Power and Otter Tail Power.
To quality, PV systems must be less than 40kW. Homeowners and businesses must use PV modules or solar collectors certified as made in the state – modules from just two companies – tenKsolar and Silicon Energy – are currently certified.
The available incentives will vary according to module brand and segment, ranging from US$0.13 to US$0.27/kWh.
Applications for the incentives will be open between 1 January and 28 February each year until 2023 and successful applicants selected by lottery.
The 2014 Made in Minnesota programme is expected to increase the state’s solar capacity by more than 6MW, an increase of about 43% to Minnesota’s capacity of 14.1MW, as of 30 June this year.