Cultivating Solar Gardens
The project will lay the groundwork for making one or more Community Solar Gardens a reality in the Central region. This will be achieved by uniting all of the interested parties (utilities, rate payers, community advocates, and the solar industry) and current resources available, as well as developing new resources and outreach where needed.
- University of Minnesota
- Community members
- Youth Energy Summit
- Rural Renewable Energy Alliance
- City of Royalton
- Brainerd Public Utilities
- Compile and organize existing resources and academic works on developing community solar assets. Determine any gaps and needs.
- Engage the utility companies Brainerd Public Utilities and Minnesota Power, bringing them into the planning process.
- Engage potential Solar Developers, bringing their perspective into the planning process.
- Conduct original research based on the needs identified in phase 1. Develop framework for successful Solar Garden manifestation.
- Engage community members, community partners, rate payers.
- Hold a community forum to discuss and inform the community on the project.
- Final research and framework is complete. Utilities, Solar developers, and all community partners are now working harmoniously towards breaking ground within the next few months.
- At least one community solar project goes online in Central MN!
- An efficient mechanism for moving forward with Community Solar Gardens is cultivated.
- Community pride and environmental accountability is instilled in a broad cross section of the community.
- Barriers that prevent utility buy-in for a community solar project are overcome.
- A long term clean energy source is developed.
Solar Works - $5,000
National Joint Powers Association Grant - $11,120
In-kind - 355 hours
Initiative Foundation - $7,500