Funding available through Minnesota's Solar on Public Buildings grant program


Cora Hoffer, policy associate,, 507.513.8545; Teresa Hoffman, senior communications associate,, 402.687.2100 ext. 1012

MINNESOTA – An effort to encourage the installation of solar energy systems has begun as the Minnesota Commerce Department’s Division of Energy Resources opens the application process for the first round of the Solar on Public Buildings grant program.

“This grant program is a great opportunity for Minnesota communities to take advantage of state dollars to install solar and help advance the state’s energy transition,” said Cora Hoffer, policy associate with the Center for Rural Affairs.

The Solar for Public Buildings grant program was established in 2023. The Department of Commerce will administer $4.3 million in grants to local governments in the Xcel Energy electric service territory, and they anticipate at least two rounds of funding.

Local government units, including cities, towns, counties, other local governments, or a federally recognized Tribe in Minnesota, are eligible. The first step of the application process requires that interested parties submit a notice of intent by completing a public building readiness assessment. The deadline is June 3. School districts that qualify for financial assistance under the Solar for Schools program are not eligible.

On July 1, the Department of Commerce will issue Public Building Readiness Eligibility Notifications and open the full grant application process. Applications will be due Sept. 23, with final notification of grants expected on Oct. 21.  

Grants will be awarded for up to 70% of the project costs, dependent on the applying government’s financial capacity, for a solar array that is built on or adjacent to a public building and is the lesser of a 40kW system capacity or 120% of the building’s annual energy consumption.

Before completing the readiness assessment, applicants must obtain a unique project ID number for each application. Instructions for obtaining an ID number and additional information on the program, including answers to frequently asked questions, can be found at