Solar for Schools is on Track

Solar for Schools Program

Commerce seeking additional Solar for School funding from 2022 MN Legislature

 (Minnesota) — March 11th, 2022 –The Minnesota Department of Commerce Solar for Schools Program ( is on track to award about $7.5 million in grants for up to 80 schools in 45 school districts across the state.

The grants will cover up to 95% of costs for the schools, based on their financial need, allowing schools to install solar panels on school rooftops or school grounds. The projects would add renewable energy as a source to power schools and offer over 160 thousand students with hands-on learning about solar power and renewable energy technology.

The grants will be the first school solar projects awarded under the Solar for Schools Program passed by the Minnesota Legislature in 2021. As part of Commerce’s Request for Proposals grant-making process, the schools submitted their school readiness assessments in January 2022. Commerce has approved 80 schools to submit by May 31 their project’s full application for Commerce’s review and approval.

“We are excited about the number of schools making plans to add solar power through the Solar For Schools Program,” said Jack Kluempke, Commerce Department emerging energy technologies supervisor who oversees the Solar for Schools Program. Currently, 60 school districts in Minnesota have solar energy on their rooftops or adjacent land. “Solar for Schools is on track to nearly double the number of school districts in Minnesota with solar power through this grant program,” Kluempke added.

Benefits of Solar for Schools Program

Solar for Schools is designed to provide incentives for installation of solar energy systems on Minnesota public K-12 schools as well as state colleges and universities. Eligible public schools may be awarded up to $114,000 to purchase and install a solar energy system on the school rooftop or grounds, with the grant covering 25% to 95% of the project costs. The program offers benefits for schools, students, communities and the state, including:

  • Schools can reduce their energy costs by adding solar power;
  • Site specific learning opportunities to offer students real-time learning about solar power;
  • Solar installation projects provide clean energy and often provide local jobs;
  • Solar power helps reduce electricity-based greenhouse gas emissions, and
  • As Minnesota has to import 100% of all fossil fuels, solar power adds “homegrown” renewable sources of energy to the state’s electrical grid.

Commerce seeks $3 million to fund more Solar for Schools
Demand for Commerce’s Solar for Schools Program has exceeded the funds available. Commerce received $11.7 million in requests from school districts, which exceeded Commerce funds received from the 2021 Legislature. Commerce is asking the Minnesota Legislature in the 2022 session to approve $3 million to Solar for Schools so Commerce could award grants for more schools in Greater Minnesota. Commerce’s proposal is included in the Walz-Flanagan Budget to Move Minnesota Forward.

In the 2021 session, legislators established two tracks for the Solar for Schools Program: One track is for schools located in Xcel Energy territory, which is primarily in the Twin Cities metro area. Schools within Xcel Energy territory must apply directly through Xcel’s program. All inquiries related to Xcel’s program should be directed to Commerce’s Solar for Schools Program serves schools located outside of Xcel Energy territory, primarily in Greater Minnesota.

List of 45 school districts

  1. Albert Lea Area Schools
  2. Ashby Public School District
  3. Austin Public Schools
  4. Braham Area Schools
  5. Browns Valley
  6. Byron School District
  7. Canby Public Schools
  8. Centennial School District
  9. Cloquet Public Schools
  10. Dassel Cokato Public School District
  11. Delano Public Schools
  12. Esko Public Schools
  13. Fairmont Area Schools
  14. Hermantown Community Schools
  15. Hills Beaver Creek School District
  16. Hinckley-Finlayson School District
  17. Houston Public Schools
  18. Jackson County Central Schools
  19. Lakeville Schools
  20. Litchfield Public Schools
  21. Marshall Public Schools
  22. Moorhead Area Public Schools
  23. Moose Lake Community School District
  1. Mora Public Schools
  2. Morris Area Schools
  3. New York Mills Public School
  4. Osseo Area Public Schools
  5. Plainview Elgin Millville Schools
  6. Proctor Public Schools
  7. Redwood Area School District
  8. Rochester Public Schools
  9. Rosemount, Apple Valley, Eagan
  10. Rothsay Public Schools
  11. Russell Tyler Ruthton Public Schools
  12. Rush City
  13. Saint James Public Schools
  14. Saint Peter Public School District
  15. Sleepy Eye Public Schools
  16. Stewartville School District
  17. Shakopee Public School District
  18. Tri-City United Schools
  19. Upsala Area School District
  20. Verndale Public School District
  21. West Central Area Schools
  22. Windom Public School District



Hugo Coffee Roasters Coupon: SAVEDOGS