SunShare, a rapidly growing community solar company with offices in Minneapolis and Denver, and Mortenson, a construction firms, has announced a strategic relationship to develop and build solar gardens in Minnesota. The announcement comes just a week after Xcel Energy announced its plan to more than double its renewable energy by 2030, including exponential growth in solar from 14 MW today to 2,400 MW in 2030.
"This is the story of one of the largest, nationally-recognized construction firms forming a strategic alliance with an innovative, up-and-coming community solar company to bring access to solar energy to everyone in Xcel Energy's service territory in Minnesota," said Jonathan W. Postal (J.W.), SunShare's senior vice president.
Mortenson will serve as the full EPC contractor, while SunShare will develop, finance, own the solar gardens and sign-up energy users for the program. The renewable electricity generated will be available to Xcel Energy residential, municipal and commercial subscribers as part of its community solar program throughout Hennepin, Dakota, Wright, Ramsey, Carver, Scott, Anoka, and Washington counties.
"Minnesota's community solar program dramatically expands the ability for companies, governmental entities and residents to utilize solar," said Trent Mostaert, vice president and general manager at Mortenson. "This is a great partnership and an opportunity for Mortenson to work with SunShare and bring our significant solar experience home to Minnesota."
"This partnership with Mortenson ensures that we have the best local talent and team to build our solar gardens at scale," said David Amster-Olszewski, CEO and founder of SunShare. "This relationship shows our commitment to deliver state-of-the-art, long-term, scalable energy solutions to residents and businesses in Minnesota. We look forward to our partnership boosting the local economy, creating jobs and delivering clean solar power to thousands of Minnesotans."
In 2013, the Minnesota State Legislature established a landmark community solar law through the "Solar Energy Jobs Act," allowing electric customers who either can't or don't want to put solar panels on their homes or businesses to buy electricity generated from a solar array located elsewhere in the community. Customers, including schools, businesses, homeowners, libraries, and other municipal buildings, may purchase a community solar garden subscription from SunShare and will then receive credits on their Xcel Energy bills during the contract term.