event details

Thursday, October 27, 2016
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

TIES Conference Center
1644 Larpenteur Avenue West
Falcon Heights, MN 55113

Event materials

Agenda (PDF) »

Speaker Biographies (PDF) »


Ross Abbey, Bright Green Consulting (PDF) »

Sara Bergan, Stoel Rives LLP (PDF) »

Rob Davis, Fresh Energy (PDF) »

Lee Gabler, Xcel Energy (PDF) »

Lynn Hinkle, Minnesota Solar Industry Association (PDF) »

Ben Passer, Fresh Energy (PDF) »

Lissa Pawlisch, CERTS University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (PDF) »


Wenck Associates




lead Event SPONSOR





POLICY FORUM SERIES:  Addressing barriers to community solar

about the program

In 2013, the state passed legislation to enable community solar garden programs in Minnesota. These programs, also known as “shared solar” or “community solar,” present an exciting opportunity for consumers to participate in solar markets without having to install their own solar electric systems. Since 2013, growth in community solar garden subscribership has demonstrated the tremendous consumer interest in solar energy, but has also revealed a complex suite of barriers—regulatory, financial, and social. These barriers will need to be addressed if we are to unlock the full potential of community solar in Minnesota.

Minnesota’s solar laws put us at the forefront of states wrestling with how to best make community solar broadly accessible, financeable, and compatible with other state and local policy goals. In the past three years, we’ve learned a great deal about how to more effectively and efficiently deploy community solar on the distribution system. However, we continue to grapple with and refine the implementation as we work to address consumer demand for solar. 

This forum explored:

  • The role of community solar in our future energy system and how to maximize the value of community solar within that system;
  • Lessons learned through the first few years of implementing community solar in Minnesota; and
  • What can be done at the state and local level to address structural barriers to community solar deployment that recognizes, balances, and supports multiple policy goals.

View the event agenda (PDF) »