Community grids, or solar gardens as they are often called, are popping up everywhere across the United States. Minnesota is next in line to receive solar-powered gardens and the state has recently secured funding for new projects in this regard. In conjunction with SunShare, one of the pioneers of solar garden technology, Minnesota is partnering with officials and solar leaders in the field in order to create community solar gardens for residents statewide. 

Two separate community solar grids are currently being built in Minnesota and set to be at mechanical completion by October of this year. The first solar grid known as the SaintSun will be located in Saint Michael, Minnesota, while the other project known by the name ZumbroSun will be built in Zumbro Falls. The two projects comprise a total of 6 community gardens that will serve nearly 1,200 households. Both projects will be funded by ANB Bank, who is lending $11 million for construction and project costs.  

Solar grids are becoming more widely used and are sometimes a more appropriate solution for certain communities, in comparison to rooftop panels. This is especially true in larger or highly populated cities. They have transformed communities across the United States and worldwide by omitting the need for rooftop panels and creating a shared solar panel, or solar garden, that is able to service multiple people within the area. 

Minnesota officials could not have picked a better company to entrust the state’s solar energy needs to. SunShare currently has the largest resident subscriber base in the solar power industry and has been providing accessible solar energy solutions since 2011. Their incredible work in the solar energy field has been spearheaded primarily by the company’s creator.  

SunShare founder and CEO, David Amster-Olszewski, told Solar Power World that the unmatched dedication of the SunShare team, along with their overall mission to ultimately benefit subscribers via solar power, makes him honored to be a part of helping Minnesota advance and thrive. In 2016, David was featured in Forbes Magazine’s ‘30 under 30’ and recognized for his entrepreneurial accomplishments in the solar energy field. SunShare was founded on humble beginnings when David created the company using the help of only a few interns and the space of his own apartment living room. His enthusiasm for solar energy puts Minnesota in good hands and potentially on the fast track to being a national example for how states can properly implement and utilize solar energy effectively.  

The competition nationwide for solar-powered technology is increasing and SunShare is steps ahead in making renewable and sustainable solar energy a reality. This is good news for residents who are curious about solar energy and desire to implement it in the near future, or those who want solar energy but live in areas where solar panels may not be practical. The innovative technology of the solar grids is making solar and renewable energy a true reality without compromising building structure or neighborhood esthetic to accommodate rooftop solar panels. It is likely more and more companies will follow suit on this trend. There is no doubt that SunShare’s dedication to the solar energy field will incentivize other solar energy companies to continue to push forward to find new, and even better solar solutions. 

Ultimately, SunShare has promised to grow Minnesota’s solar industry and comply with the regulations and provisions set forth in the Minnesota Solar Energy Jobs Act, which was signed in 2013 by Governor Dayton. According to the act, states and residents that participate in using the solar energy garden will not only receive credits on their bill, but they will also gain assurance that the environment and agriculture in the area will see a positive turnaround. The construction of SunShare’s community gardens is just the start. It is likely community solar gardens may eventually become the norm in cities across the United States as solar energy becomes more widely demanded and accessible. It is anticipated that subscribers to the gardens will start to see the full effects of the grid in terms of cost savings by late 2018 and early 2019.  

Resources:

https://mysunshare.com/executive-team/ 

https://mysunshare.com/mn-community-solar/ 

www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2018/09/sunshare-8-mw-community-solar-gardens-in-minnesota/
 

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