Trio of Companies Kicks Off Community Solar Gardens in Minnesota

Mortenson Construction, SunShare and Real Capital Solutions have broken ground on the first eight solar gardens they plan to put online by early next year.

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

SunShare Community Solar Garden
SunShare Community Solar Garden

Minneapolis—In early 2017, Minnesota will open its first eight solar gardens. Behind the project are Mortenson Construction—acting as the development company, SunShare—the company that will take on the administrative tasks of the facilities, and Real Capital Solutions—the project owner.

The three companies are partnering to build 11 megawatts of solar gardens in 2016, resulting in a collective portfolio that will serve over 6,000 customers across Minnesota in 2017. WakeSun, an affiliate of Real Capital, is developing and financing the construction of the solar gardens.

“Consumer demand for solar energy is increasing at a rapid rate. These projects provide residential and commercial entities with the ability to utilize solar power who otherwise may not have been able to,” said Trent Mostaert, vice president & general manager of Mortenson Solar & Emerging Renewables, in a prepared statement. “We are pleased to serve as the EPC contractor on these important projects as well as those planned for next year.”

Minnesota citizens have access to locally-produced solar energy since 2013 when the Minnesota State legislature passed the Solar Energy Jobs Act. Xcel Energy customers can choose their energy source, regardless if their homes are suitable for rooftop solar or wish to avoid the upfront capital expense. Likewise, small businesses can also benefit from community solar even if they are not the owners of the building in which they operate.

“Minnesota is slated to have the largest community solar program in the country,” said David Amster-Olszewski, founder & CEO of SunShare.

Image courtesy of SunShare’s official Facebook page