The economics of solar PV in Minnesota are currently less attractive than in some regions of the country, though it is improving as the cost of solar continues to drop. Overall, the key drivers of the break-even cost of PV in Minnesota are non-technical factors, including the cost of electricity (relatively cheap in MN), the rate structure, and the availability of system financing, as opposed to technical parameters such as solar resource or orientation.

A benchmark for the latest costs for commercial-scale projects in the public and non-profit sectors could be the recent round of Renewable Development Fund project winners. The below projects have been approved for funding. The cost per watt ranges from $2.00 to $5.60.

Project Amount (kW) Total Project Cost Cost/Watt
Edison High School 485 $1,949,002 $4.02
School Sisters of Notre Damn 907 $1,811,857 $2.00
Anoka Ramsey Community College 458 $1,825,976 $3.99
Innovative Power Systems, Inc. 967 $2,698,200 $2.79
Metropolitan Airport Commission 1180 $4,189,000 $3.55
Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board 200 $1,119,133 $5.60
Goodwill LLC 700 $1,525,250 $2.18
Aurora St. Anthony, LLC 252 $911,798 $3.62
Cornerstone Group 152 $705,250 $4.64

The full project descriptions are available in the Xcel Energy website.