Solar Energy Capacity in Minnesota Takes Big Leap in 2016

ST. PAUL (AP) – Minnesota’s solar energy capacity made great strides in the last year and state officials don’t expect the pace of growth to slow down.

In 1996, enough solar energy was generated to power 16 homes in Minnesota. By 2015, 35 megawatts of capacity was generated, or enough to power more than 39,000 homes, and last year, that capacity grew to 250 megawatts.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports Chisago County has more solar capacity than any other county in the state. Minnesota’s largest solar energy facility, the new North Star project, is located in Chisago County, where solar panels produce up to 100 megawatts.

Solar energy projects at the Metropolitan Council wastewater treatment plant in Shakopee and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport recently came on line, boosting the state’s capacity.