Minnesota Commercial Solar: 8 More Things You Should Know

Commercial solar power has reached critical mass in Minnesota and elsewhere around the country. Commonly referred to as photovoltaics or PV, solar panel systems allow you to produce electricity that lowers your utility bills as you reduce the amount of electricity you need to draw from the utility grid. Now more economical to adopt than continuing with the status quo, many companies, such as Target, Kohl’s, Ikea, Fedex, and Intel are investing significantly in solar power. Let us help your organization earn money from unused roof space. Here’s a list of 8 things you should know about commercial solar in Minnesota:

1. Free Consultations

IPS Solar provides free solar energy consultations that include basic information for your decision-making team such as:

  • Preliminary designs
  • Cash flow analyses

It’s an easy way to quickly understand whether or not solar is the right choice for your organization.

2. Respect Your Roof

Most commercial solar installations require no roof modifications or penetrations.

  • To ensure your roof integrity, a pad or additional layer of roofing material is typically placed between it and the racking system.
  • A structural engineering review is required on all projects to assess the impacts.
  • Panels that can withstand 90+ mph winds typically add less than 4 lbs per square foot to the roof.
  • IPS Solar has 25 years of Minnesota solar panel systems experience. We understand important factors like snow and wind.

3. Maintenance Free

No moving parts means little to no maintenance for your staff.

  • Monitoring, typically standard, automatically notifies you and IPS Solar if there’s and issue.

4. Design Flexibility

Solar products have reached their maturation stage over the past several years. Regardless of your building’s specific requirements, integration is possible.

IPS Solar has a professional design team that can determine which products are best suited for your organization.

5. Tax Incentives

Every solar project qualifies for tax incentives. To understand what impacts solar can have on your bottom line it is important to include your controller or accountant early in the conversation. If you’re a non-profit organization or you can’t efficiently utilize tax incentives there are financing options that make solar adoption more financially attractive (see below).

6. Project Financing

It’s often difficult to divert money from capital improvement funds to pay for solar. Most projects in Minnesota, however, will qualify for competitive financing options.

  • Solar leasing is great for non-profit organizations and public entities, it’s also a good fit for those companies with little to no tax obligations. In this scenario:
    • The project developer pays for the upfront cost of a system, and;
    • The project developer enters into a rooftop lease and power purchase agreement with you.
  • Non-recourse solar loans are also available, structured to be cashflow positive from day one.

7. Solar Panels are Built to Last

Minnesota is host to several solar panel manufacturers.

Our design team can help you review two to three-panel choices and weigh the pros and cons of each before helping you make a decision.

8. More than a Simple Payback

Financial benefits. Most commercial solar power projects earn an internal rate of return between 10% and 15%.

Environmental benefits. Solar can help meet your organization’s sustainability goals.

Public relations. Adopting solar power can provide a great marketing opportunity; Eichten’s Organic Cheese and Bison operations in Center City, MN received positive press coverage from MPR, WCCO TV, and the Star Tribune.

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