In the next five years, Minnesota is set to double its solar energy production. This is good news for homeowners in the North Star State looking to switch to renewable power. With surprisingly decent sunlight and state support, there’s money to save with solar panels in Minnesota.
If you’re curious about what a budget looks like for an installation, we’ve got you covered. From average costs to potential savings, this guide breaks down the affordability of solar in Minnesota. Keep reading to learn more.
Average Cost of Solar Panels in Minnesota
Residents of the North Star State might not turn their heads to upgrading their energy system. Only slightly higher than average, the cost of solar panels in Minnesota sits around $2.74/W. That means a typical, 6kW system would cost about $16,440. With enough time, this pays off and could lead to major savings.
However, when considering the cost of electricity, Minnesotans might not feel much of a push. Homeowners in the North Star State use only 775kWh a month, within the top 40% of the country. Couple that with a decent rate on electricity and residents of Minnesota only pay about $110.13 a month. This isn’t so much to light a fire within homeowners to purchase a solar panel system.
To add a little excitement, the US government offers a 30% solar tax credit on any purchases toward an installation. Qualifying homeowners who take advantage of this program could watch the price of that 6kW system drop from $16,440 to $11,508.
How Much Solar Do Minnesotans Need?
While these numbers represent the cost of an average solar array in Minnesota, they might not reflect the location and power requirements of your household. To determine the right size system and how much it would cost, you’ll need to divide your average daily electricity usage by the amount of direct sunlight in your area. To show how to do this in an example, we’ll use Minnesota’s averages.
Residents of the North Star State use about 25.8kWh a day (775kWh per month). When divided by the state’s average peak sun of 4.53 hours, we learn that a solar array needs to produce about 5.7kW an hour (pretty close to the national average). This lowers the cost of solar panels in Minnesota to about $15,618 before incentives.
Now that you know how the math works, you can find the right size system for your home. Because geography plays a role in average direct sunlight, you can use this Minnesota sun chart to determine the number of hours you get in your hometown.
Minnesota Solar Cost Factors
Briefly mentioned previously, sunlight and geographic location can affect the cost of solar panels in Minnesota. Because the length of the North Star State covers over 400 miles, those living closer to the Canadian border may experience less average sun time than others. For example, International Falls receives 20 fewer minutes of sunlight a day compared to Minneapolis. For more examples of how location can affect solar prices, compare the North Star State to some of its neighbors:
Minnesotans should also think about the type of solar panels they install. Those living further south could get away with polycrystalline equipment, which is less efficient but more affordable. However, those living closer to Lake Superior might benefit from monocrystalline, which typically comes with better manufacturing.
While you consider the cost of solar panels in Minnesota, don’t skip over installation quality. Some companies might get you an affordable quote, but they may sacrifice important aspects such as equipment, warranties, and certifications. With over 50 installers in the North Star State, you have options to consider.
Best Minnesota Solar Installers
When talking about the best installation companies for solar panels in Minnesota, it’s critical to know what to look for; that’s why we trust Energy Sage. With endorsements from both the US Department of Energy and SEIA, the referral company has an extensive list of screened and verified installers to recommend. When looking at installers, EnergySage recommends considering their:
- Years of experience in the industry
- Contractor transparency
- Equipment quality
- Warranty longevity
As the leading installer in Minnesota, All Energy Solar has over 6,000 installations in the Midwest and Northeast regions. With its headquarters in Saint Paul, the company has roots in the North Star State. They use an in-house team of technicians to install top-tier equipment, including Enphase Energy and Tesla. While their workmanship warranty falls short in some states, they have a NABCEP certification to back their work.
However, if you won’t compromise on warranty, you definitely should consider Wolf River Electric. The company is more local than All Energy Solar, and their attention to detail shows. With this Isanti-based company, you don’t just get quality, but also affordability. With their wider range of equipment and longer warranties, it’s hard to find a more comprehensive installer in Minnesota.
Can Solar Energy Save Minnesotans Money?
Homeowners in the North Star State pay slightly more than usual for equipment. With relatively affordable energy costs, there’s not a lot of motivation to make the switch. However, those who end up purchasing an installation could find thousands in net savings in the long run.
In Minnesota, homeowners spend about $1,321.56 a year on electricity. When this is used to cover the cost of a solar panel system, a 6kW array could be paid off in 12.4 years. While this is longer than in most states by a couple of years, residents of the North Star State will start to see their normal utility bill come back as net returns.
With the average lifespan of solar panels in Minnesota of about 20 to 25 years, homeowners will earn money with their system for over seven years. This return could range from $10,044 to $16,652. Plus taking advantage of solar benefits and incentives, there’s even more to earn.
Solar Panels in Minnesota: Rebates, Credits, and Incentives
Although the state has notoriously snowy weather three seasons of the year, the North Star State has reason to support renewable energy. This means that homeowners installing a system could save on equipment and potentially earn money over the course of their system’s lifetime.
Starting off, Minnesotans can take advantage of the federal solar tax credit. With returns on all purchases toward an array, homeowners could save nearly $5,000. With benefits from net metering to performance programs, there’s even more to earn. For a detailed list of the state’s renewable incentives, check out our program guide for solar panels in Minnesota.
Solar Panels in Minnesota: Further Reading
The North Star State has surprisingly decent sun, making renewable energy a worthwhile decision. While rates for equipment range on the higher side, homeowners can save thousands of dollars by switching to solar panels in Minnesota. For more on emerging technology, check out these articles.
Solar Panels in Michigan: Cost, Savings, and Rebates – Compare Minnesota’s solar rates to one of its Northern neighbors.
Owning an EV in Minnesota: Charging Cost, Incentives, and More – Despite crazy weather and winters that seem to last months, the North Star State has a surprising amount of benefits for electric vehicles.
Top 9 Internet Providers in Minnesota – Wherever you live in Minnesota, these companies have your internet covered.
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