Mortenson, SunShare, and Real Capital Solutions Kick Off Community Solar Garden Construction in Minnesota
Mortenson Construction has broken ground on the first of eight solar gardens administered by SunShare planned to come online in Minnesota by early next year. The two companies and Real Capital Solutions, the project owner, are partnering to build 11 Megawatts (MW) of solar gardens in Minnesota in 2016. More SunShare-administered solar gardens will be constructed by Mortenson in 2017, and the collective portfolio will serve over 6,000 customers across Minnesota.
Mortenson is serving as the full engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractor, while SunShare subscribed Xcel Energy customers to participate in the solar gardens and is managing the customer relationship. WakeSun LLC, an affiliate of Real Capital Solutions, is developing and financing the construction of the solar garden. Mortenson, a family-owned construction and development services company based in Minneapolis, is the leading utility-scale solar and wind energy contractor in the United States. SunShare, based in Denver, is one of the first and largest community solar companies in the nation.
“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 and General Manager of Mortenson Solar & Emerging Renewables. “We are pleased to serve as the EPC contractor on these important projects as well as those planned for next year.” In 2013, the Minnesota State legislature passed the Solar Energy Jobs Act, allowing Minnesota citizens to access locally-produced solar energy and expanding the use of solar in the state. For the first time, Xcel Energy customers have a choice in their energy source, whether they live in homes not suitable for rooftop solar; would prefer to avoid the upfront capital expense of rooftop solar; or live in a condo building with a shared roof. Small businesses can also benefit from community solar even if they do not own the building in which they operate.
“Minnesota is slated to have the largest community solar program in the country,” said David Amster-Olszewski, Founder and CEO of SunShare. “SunShare is thrilled to be working with a Minnesota company to make that vision a reality.” SunShare, Mortenson, and Real Capital Solutions will be hosting a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, September 21st at the WakeSun Solar Garden sites in Cold Spring, Minn. to celebrate the beginning of construction.