St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - A new state report shows Minnesota’s capacity to generate solar power more than doubled last year. The Minnesota Department of Commerce says that capacity grew by 467 megawatts in 2017. Officials say that is enough to power approximately 53,000 homes. The total from 2016 was just under 210 megawatts.

The Commerce Department found much of the growth was due to community solar projects. Rochester Public Utilities is among the utilities that offer customers the option of purchasing subscriptions for a share the power generated by community solar installations that give them a credit on their electric utility bills based on the amount of power produced.

Minnesota’s overall solar power capacity is now estimated at 714 megawatts. Officials note over 400 megawatts of solar power generation is currently under construction and the state is poised to reach a full gigawatt of solar energy generation capacity next year. Despite the rapid growth, solar power only accounts for about 1-percent of Minnesota’s overall power generation capacity.

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