Anoka Municipal Utility (AMU) is a member of the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA). The MMPA is an agency that provides reliable, competitively-priced power, and is owned by member cities and governed by a Board of Directors with representatives from each community.
According to the MMPA website, in 2017, MMPA added the Buffalo Solar facility to its power supply portfolio. The 7 MW utility-scale solar project, located near the Agency’s member community of Buffalo, is comprised of more than 25,000 solar panels. The Agency purchases all of the output of the facility under a long-term contract. In addition, the Agency’s Hometown Solar program locates solar installations in their member communities, as well as at MMPA’s Faribault Energy Park.
Understanding Community Solar
Here are some benefits of community solar:
- Helps respond to unmet customer demand for solar
- Demonstrates utility’s responsible environmental stewardship
- Improves customer relationships
- Direct control and monitoring of solar resources
- Economies of scale and scope for centralized array
- Access to solar for customers that cannot or may not want to install rooftop solar
- Economies of scale mean lower costs for solar, and potential savings/credits from retail rate
- Simplicity in billing
- Customer-owned: customers organize to develop and manage project directly
- Utility-owned: utility owns and develops project, allows for customer buy-in
- Third party ownership: Third party develops project, utility enters into power purchase agreement that establishes the rate for generation, then allows for customers to buy-in
Pricing & Credits
- Capacity-based: Participants own, lease, or subscribe to a certain number of panels and then receive a bill credit proportioned to share of the generation from the project
- Energy-based: Participants pay a per-kilowatt-hour charge which typically begins as a premium over the retail rate and then eventually falls below the retail rate
- Check out some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about solar installation. While we cannot make the decision as to whether solar is right for you or not, we would like to help customers make informed decisions.
- Learn more about community solar programs at the American Public Power Association’s website or email the American Public Power Association.
Purchasing Solar Panels
If you are still interested in purchasing your own "green" equipment, check out this Distributed Generation Policy (PDF) about adding solar panels to your home or business. To start the process, fill out the pre-application on page 95.