Living Earthwise, Solar Energy

Each month the Earthwise team offers suggestions and actions that we invite you to adopt at home, school and work. This month we’re focusing on solar energy. Why solar? What are the options and how to get started?

Solar is much in the news these days, and Mayflower has a reputation for being a leader in placing solar panels on a church building. But what about you? Have you considered solar in your life? Solar is a very effective way to produce electrical energy without production of any harmful greenhouse gases. So, what are your options as a private citizen? There are three:

  • Place panels on your home. There are several contractors in the metro that can do this for you. The installation can be linked to selling power back to the grid when you are producing more electricity than your household needs. For general information and a list of contractors see Clean Energy Project Builder.
  • A second option is to buy into community solar: There are many good options available here. A good source of information is the Clean Energy Resource Team.
  • A third option is “Renewable Connect” offered by Xcel Energy. Similar to the Windsource Program (which adds a small amount to your monthly bill and your share of electricity is wind generated), this program allows the customer to opt in on both wind and solar. Learn more.

Additional assistance: For more information, see news from the Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light Solar Team. The Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota also provides free consultations and is happy to help you sort through the best options for your household. Questions? Contact Joe Newberg.