Small Business Solar-Electric (PV) Rebate Program (Minnesota)

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Last modified on May 23, 2011.

Financial Incentive Program

Place Minnesota

Name Small Business Solar-Electric (PV) Rebate Program
Incentive Type State Rebate Program
Applicable Sector Commercial
Eligible Technologies Photovoltaics
Active Incentive No

Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs
Amount General: 1.75/W DC

NABCEP certified installer: 2/W DC Incentives reduced by 0.25/W for applications submitted after April 30, 2010 or final rebate claims made after September 30, 2010.

Eligible System Size 0.5 kW Minimum
Equipment Requirements Systems components must be new, UL-listed, in compliance with all applicable performance and safety standards; Inverters must carry a minimum 5-year warranty; PV panels must carry a 20-year warranty.
Expiration Date When funds are exhausted
The date "When funds are exhausted" was not understood.

Installation Requirements Installation must comply with all federal, state and local codes; grid-connected or off-grid systems eligible; systems must be installed by a licensed, qualified professional; installations must comply with detailed siting criteria specified in program guidelines; performance should be at least 90% of ideally sited system

Maximum Incentive 15,000 - 20,000; based on maximum system size and incentive calculation
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits Not specified

Program Budget $3 million (all state solar rebate programs for 2010)

Program Administrator Minnesota Department of Commerce

References DSIRE[1]


The Minnesota Office of Energy Security (OES) administers a solar-electric (PV) rebate program to buy down the up-front costs of solar-electric (PV) systems installed by in-state small businesses. A "small business" is defined as a Minnesota business with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. Rebates are limited to systems from 0.5 to 10 kilowatts (kW); larger systems are eligible but the incentive amount is only calculated on the first 10 kW of capacity. Past recipients of solar rebates are eligible for further rebates under this program, but only up to the 10 kW limit applies on combined PV capacity. A separate residential PV rebate program is available for homeowners.

Both grid-connected and off-grid residential systems are eligible for assistance under this program. Rebate levels for 2010 range from $1.50 - $2.00 per DC watt depending on installer qualifications; initial project application date; and the date that a final rebate claim is filed. Systems must be installed by a licensed electrical contractor or general contractor having at least two installations of 0.5 kW or larger in the previous 12 months; however, systems installed by contractors that meet the above criteria and are NABCEP certified are eligible for higher incentives. The list below describes how the actual incentive level is determined:

  • Applications submitted by April 30, 2010 for which a final rebate claim is submitted by September 30, 2010, the incentive is $1.75 per watt (DC), or $2.00 per watt if the installer is NABCEP certified
  • For applications submitted by April 30, 2010 for which a final claim is submitted after September 30, 2010, the incentive is $1.50 per watt, or $1.75 per watt if the installer is NABCEP certified
  • For applications submitted after March 31, 2010 the incentive is $1.50 per watt, or $1.75 per watt if the installer is NABCEP certified

The rebate is available for the first 5 kW of capacity, with the maximum limit ranging from $7,500 - $10,000 per system.

Participants must submit an application form to reserve a rebate before performing any installation work. The rebate reservation application contains a detailed list of equipment and installation requirements which must be met in order to qualify for incentives. After receiving confirmation from the OES, participants have nine months to install proposed systems and obtain approval by electric-utility officials (required) and local code officials (if necessary). In September 2004, the Minnesota Department of Commerce issued a two-page publication, Electricity from the Sun - A Minnesota Solar Energy Primer, for consumers interested in the state's solar rebate program.

A total of $3 million will be available during 2010 or all state solar programs, including the soon to be opened solar thermal and commercial solar programs. Although in the past this program has been funded from the Xcel Renewable Development Fund (RDF), the 2010 program is funded using Federal economic stimulus (ARRA) money. The use of ARRA funding may require adherence to additional reporting and project implementation standards compared to prior program years. The rebate cannot be used in combination with other Xcel Renewable Development Fund support. Those who do not qualify under the current program guidelines (e.g., industrial, governmental, non-profits, etc.) are encouraged to contact the OES about other funding opportunities.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Energy Information Center
Department Minnesota Department of Commerce
Division Office of Energy Security
Address 85 7th Place East, Suite 500
Place St. Paul, Minnesota
Zip/Postal Code 55101-2198
Phone (651) 296-5175
Phone 2 (800) 657-3710

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) accessed 2010-05-21" Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "DSIRE" defined multiple times with different content