Getting Started with Solar
Welcome to Coon Rapids' solar resource webpage. Coon Rapids is seeking ways to encourage solar energy development in our community. This webpage represents a collection of solar information and resources for the community. For more information about the basics of solar energy, your solar options, and questions to ask solar professionals, read the Residential Consumer Guide to Solar Power and visit the Department of Energy’s Homeowner’s Guide to Going Solar.
Coon Rapids has been recognized as a SolSmart Silver community for implementing best practices to make it easier for residents and businesses to install and access solar energy.
Policies and Processes
The Coon Rapids Community Development Department is committed to exceptional customer services as it relates to solar processes. To promote the continued advancement of solar in our community we are committed to the following:
- Providing clear guidelines about the solar permitting and inspection process in our Solar Permitting Handout.
- Using a specific Solar Permit for commercial and residential applicants.
Solar energy uses a renewable energy source – the sun – and provides many benefits for individuals and the community. It improves environmental quality by reducing carbon emissions and air pollution, supports local solar companies in Minnesota, saves money on energy costs as the price continues to drop from technological developments, and improves electric grid resilience during peak demand and other stresses to the system.
Solar Maps and Potential
Investigate your property’s solar potential on Google Project Sunroof. You can also use the University of Minnesota’s Solar Suitability Map. You can estimate the performance of potential PV projects using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PVWatts Calculator.
Finding a Contractor and Going Solar
Find a solar contractor (or two) to assess your home for solar energy and provide a quote.
- Certified practitioners can be found through NABCEP.
- Visit EnergySage to learn about solar energy and submit for solar quotes from a network of pre-screened, local solar installers
- Consumer Solar Checklist – a checklist for residential consumers considering solar energy from IREC, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
- Clean Energy Consumer Bill of Rights – ensure a positive consumer experience by addressing important issues from IREC, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
- Solar Customer Resource Portal – various resources from SEIA, the Solar Energy Industries Association.
- Solar Owner’s Manual – information for current solar homeowners to ensure they are getting the most out of their system from Solar United Neighbors.
Financing, Incentives, and Tax Exemptions
Typically solar installations are paid for through loans or cash, with Federal and State incentives available.
- Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics – learn about the federal tax credit, eligibility, and other common questions & answers from the U.S. Department of Energy.
- A Homeowner’s Guide to Solar Financing – learn about different financing options from CESA, the Clean Energy States Alliance.
- Minnesota's Center for Energy and Environment offers loan programs to help home owners improve efficiency.
Get Involved, Stay Informed
The Coon Rapids Sustainability Commission meets monthly to discuss projects and priorities related to sustainability, including solar energy.
Local Solar Metrics and Projects
- Total number of permitted solar projects in Coon Rapids: 45
- Total permitted MW capacity of solar systems in Coon Rapids: 1.94 MW DC
Last updated 12/2021
More Useful Solar Information
- Brush up on your solar knowledge with the Glossary of Solar Energy Terms.
- Learn more about community solar gardens on the Clean Energy Resource Team’s website here.
- If you are an Xcel Energy subscriber, view their renewable energy subscription options online.
- If you are a Connexus Energy subscriber, learn more about their SolarWise renewable energy subscription program here.
- The Clean Energy Resource Teams have excellent information available about all types of clean energy and energy efficiency.