The economics of solar PV in Minnesota are currently less attractive than in some regions of the country, though it is improving as the cost of solar continues to drop. Overall, the key drivers of the break-even cost of PV in Minnesota are non-technical factors, including the cost of electricity (relatively cheap in MN), the rate structure, and the availability of system financing, as opposed to technical parameters such as solar resource or orientation.
A benchmark for the latest costs for commercial-scale projects in the public and non-profit sectors could be the recent round of Renewable Development Fund project winners. The below projects have been approved for funding. The cost per watt ranges from $2.00 to $5.60.
|Project||Amount (kW)||Total Project Cost||Cost/Watt|
|Edison High School||485||$1,949,002||$4.02|
|School Sisters of Notre Damn||907||$1,811,857||$2.00|
|Anoka Ramsey Community College||458||$1,825,976||$3.99|
|Innovative Power Systems, Inc.||967||$2,698,200||$2.79|
|Metropolitan Airport Commission||1180||$4,189,000||$3.55|
|Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board||200||$1,119,133||$5.60|
|Aurora St. Anthony, LLC||252||$911,798||$3.62|
The full project descriptions are available in the Xcel Energy website.