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Minnesota Solar Information

Minnesota isn’t a bad state for solar. There’s always enough sunshine to cover your basic energy needs or at least to reduce your monthly electricity bill. The 26% Federal Solar Tax Credit as well as some local incentives will make your solar installation even more profitable.
  • #42
    Minnesota ranks #42 in the USA for savings from installing solar panels
  • 5860.75 kWh
    Annual AC energy output of a 4 kW solar system installed in Minnesota
  • 4.81 kWh
    Solar Radiation (kWh / m2 / day)
  • 9 ¢ /kWh
    The cost of electricity today in Brainerd Public Utilities
  • 18 ¢ /kWh
    If you don't go solar. The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years

Minnesota Solar Facts

  • $1.92
    Average cost of a 4kw solar power system in 2019.
  • 13 years
    Average system payback period.
  • $31,308.08
    Average lifetime savings.
  • 6 ¢ /kWh
    Levelized cost of solar energy.
  • 7 kW
    Recommended system size.
  • Solar Power System Cost in Minnesota
  • $1.92 per watt
  • $12,704.90 total
  • 13 years

Minnesota is continuously increasing its solar capacity at a rate that can lead the state to become a leader in the solar industry in the near future. Minnesota gets about 4.53 sun peak hours per day, which ranks it in the middle with other US states, but because of geographical location, they are much longer during summer. Going solar in Minnesota is not only a proven way to generate electricity but also a smart financial investment thanks to the great tax credits, rebates, incentives, and very favorable net metering policy.

Minnesota Solar Facts

  • As of today, the state is required to acquire at least 25% of its power from renewable sources by the year 2025.
  • Xcel Energy, the largest utility company in Minnesota, has a separate goal of collecting 31.5 % of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
  • Minnesota’s solar capacity increased by 47% over the last year.
  • The average solar payback in Minnesota is 9 years.
  • Minnesota has annual solar resources similar to parts of Texas and Florida.

The Cost of Solar Panels in Minnesota

As of right now, the prices of solar panels vary depending on the region where you live in Minnesota and are between $2.69 and $3.65 per watt. The typical cost of a solar power system installation of the 5kW in Minnesota ranges from $13,500 to $18,500. This price does not reflect Federal Tax credit or any other state incentives or rebates.

Minnesota Solar Tax Credits

The Federal Investment Tax Credit – the government program also known as Investment Tax Credit (ITC). It allows you to claim 30 % of the total cost of the solar equipment and its installation as the tax credit and has no cap on its value.

Sales Tax Exemption - everyone who installs a solar system on their home in Minnesota is exempt from almost 7% sales taxes on that solar equipment.

Sales Tax Exemption - In Maryland, you are exempt from paying sales taxes when purchasing solar power system.

Property Tax Exemption - Solar panel installation will increase the value of the house. However, the residents of Minnesota are 100% exempt from the higher property taxes on the increased value of the house due to solar system installation.

Minnesota Solar Incentives and Rebates

Net Metering Program – The Net Metering policy applies to all utility companies in Minnesota. It requires utilities to monitor how much energy your solar power system generates and how much you actually use. If there is a surplus in energy, you can sell it back to the utility at the retail rate of electricity. In Minnesota, you either get an actual check for it or get a credit on your next electric bill.

Minnesota Solar Power Rebates – There are a few great rebates offered by utility companies in Minnesota. If you are a customer of one of these utilities, do not wait to take advantage of this special incentive.

  • Austin Utilities — pays $500/kw, limit is $5,000
  • Brainerd Public Utilities — pays $500/kw, limit is $2,500
  • Dakota Electric — pays $500/kw, limit is $4,000
  • Minnesota Power — pays $.83/kWh, No limit
  • Moorhead Public Service Utility — pays $1,500/kw, $30,000 total program budget
  • New Ulm Public Utilities — pays $1,000/kw, limit is $2,000
  • Owatanna Public Utilities — pays $500/kw, limit is $5,000
  • Rochester Public Utilities — pays $500/kw, limit is $5,000

Minnesota Solar Performance Payments – Solar Performance Payments are given to homeowners to reward them for their generated solar energy. Xcel Energy pays its customers $0.08 per kWh as a part of their Solar Rewards Program. The program does not have a limit and will help you save even more on your electric bill.

Pros and Cons of Buying Solar Panels in Minnesota


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    Relatively short payback period

    The solar payback period is the time it takes a homeowner to earn back their initial investment in the solar power system through electricity savings. Some of the factors that play a role in a shorter payback period are lower solar costs, high electricity prices, or strong solar programs and incentives. Nationwide, the average solar payback period is just under 8 years. As of today, the typical payback period for Minnesota is about 9 years.
  • +

    After the payback period, solar power is nearly free

    Besides solar insurance payments that are required in Minnesota, you will not have to pay anything for the electricity that your solar power system generates, once it is paid off.
  • +

    Great savings on a monthly electric bill

    You can expect to save around $100 on your monthly utility bill, once your solar power system starts degenerating electricity. What it means is that you become less dependent on your local utility company and their utility rates, which are highly influenced by inflation. Over the course of 20 years, you can anticipate savings over $25,000 in Minnesota.
  • +

    Helping the environment since solar energy is clean, sustainable, and renewable.

    Sunlight is abundant almost anywhere on the planet and is ready to be collected without causing damage to the natural environment. Solar energy is truly clean, renewable, and sustainable power source, besides it can save you a lot of money. It is proven that using solar energy instead of fossil fuels decreases our carbon footprint by reducing air and water pollution.
  • +

    Support from the government and the state

    Minnesota residents can enjoy significant savings of 30% tax credit on their solar equipment purchase thanks to the Federal Investment Tax Credit program. Also, solar panels here are sales tax exempt, and there are various rebates and a great Net Metering program that make the cost of going solar so much more affordable.
  • +

    Very low maintenance

    A solar energy system does not include any moving parts in its assembly so essentially, there is no wear and tear with their operation. Due to this, solar panels are also completely silent when working. The only maintenance that they need is the occasional cleaning to keep them free of dirt and debris.
  • +

    Excellent warranty protection

    The majority of the solar panels today come with two types of warranties: performance guarantee and extended product warranty. Extended product warranty guarantees any repairs of defective equipment or breakage over their lifespan. The performance warranty guarantees optimal energy production for at least 25 years.
  • +

    Increase in the property value

    Recently, studies by several real estate companies presented that installing solar panels on the roof of your house definitely increases the value of the property. On average, adding a solar energy system will raise your house value by 4.1%. Additionally, not only houses with solar installations sell at higher prices but they also sell faster than the houses without solar systems.


  • -

    The possible high initial cost

    Even though the cost of solar energy system installation reached the lowest it has even been in years and keeps declining, the initial expenses of purchasing and installing a PV system might seem quite high for many people. Luckily, residents of Minnesota can take advantage of various federal and state tax programs and rebates, offered by utilities. This will significantly cut down the price of switching to solar.
  • -

    Must have a large, open area for installation.

    The installation of an average size residential solar panel system requires large, open space on the roof. That area has to be free of any shade from trees or other buildings for the solar system to work properly. At times, this situation becomes problematic for some homeowners. Luckily, you can also install the solar panels on the ground, provided they do have direct access to sunlight.
  • -

    Must be a property owner to install

    Unfortunately, today, the solar benefits are not yet available to renters, people with low-income, or people without a job. Solar power system installations are mostly available to homeowners with good credit and good income.

Is It Worth Going Solar in Minnesota?

Looking at the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy in Minnesota, one can clearly see that adopting solar is a great investment for many homeowners. The latest technology development, decreasing solar equipment costs, and financial assistance in the form of tax credits and rebates make solar an attractive clean energy option in the beautiful Land of 10,000 lakes.

Tell us how much you are spending on electricity and we’ll calcalute how much you can save if you go solar
According to Brainerd Public Utilities, we received the cost of kWH in your area and calculated energy consumption based on an average electricity bill for 3 months.
I am claiming the 26% Federal Tax Credit (ends 2022) i

When you install a solar system, 26% of your project expenses apply toward a credit to offset any taxes you owe that year. This federal tax credit is a major incentive to go solar, but it is going to be phased out by 2024.

To be eligible to claim this credit, you must owe federal taxes.

System size

  • Mini
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
We recommended
6.61 kW medium system size
Provides up to 80% of electricity consumption
$1.92 per watt
Average system cost
  • image rec 3
    18 x 370 watt
    solar panels
  • +
  • image rec 3
    18 x 300 watt
  • +
  • image rec 3
    2 x 3 800 watt
$65.82/ month
Estimated savings on your average quarterly bill
  • $12,704.90
    Estimated system cost
    Excludes 26% Federal Tax Credit.
    This price does not include the installation cost.
  • 13 years
    Average system payback period
  • $31,308.08
    Estimated utility savings

Example of 4 kW system calculation in Minnesota for electricity bill $100

  • 9 ¢ /kWh
    The cost of electricity today in Brainerd Public Utilities
  • 18 ¢ /kWh
    If you don't get solar. The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years
  • 6 ¢ /kWh
    levelized cost of solar energy

Relevant product for your system

Entry-level solar panels x 18
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Entry-level microinverter x 18
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Entry-level inverter x 2
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Trina 410W Solar Panel 144 cell TSM-410-DE15M(II) - A1 Solar Store 18% Off
Cell number 144 cell
DC/Charger Volt Compatible 12v, 24v, 48v
Price per Watt $0.62
Rated Power Output 410 W
Voltage (VOC) 49.4 V
Cell Type Monocrystalline
Pickup at 2 locations or US shipping
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Panasonic 340W Solar Panel 96 cell VBHN340SA17 Monocrystalline White - A1 Solar Store
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DC/Charger Volt Compatible 12v, 24v, 48v
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Rated Power Output 340 W
Voltage (VOC) 71.3V
Cell Type Monocrystalline
Pickup at 4 locations or US shipping
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Panasonic HIT 330W Solar Panel 96 cell VBHN330SA17 Monocrystalline Black - A1 Solar Store
Cell number 96 cell
DC/Charger Volt Compatible 12v, 24v, 48v
Price per Watt $1.01
Rated Power Output 330 W
Voltage (VOC) 69.7V
Cell Type Monocrystalline
Pickup at 3 locations or US shipping
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Mission Solar Panel 420W 72 Cell PV Module MSE420SX6W Monocrystalline Black - A1 Solar Store 
Cell number 72 cell
DC/Charger Volt Compatible 12v, 24v, 48v
Price per Watt $0.77
Rated Power Output 420 W
Voltage (VOC) 49.14 V
Cell Type Monocrystalline
Pickup at 1 location or US shipping