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 solar equipment, check out the necessary steps for adding solar panels to your home or business.
Steps To Start the Process
Complete these steps to request installation for solar panels on your home or business.
- Determine solar size:
- Option A is used for 20 KW or less (most common)
- Option B is used for limited usage.
- Complete the instructions for Option A or B.
Option A: Instructions and Submission Form (Most typical)
After it has been determined to go with Option A (from "Steps to Start the Process" section), complete the following steps to continue your solar panel installation request.
- Complete the Simplified Interconnection Application (PDF) (page 100 to 104 in the Distributed Generation Policy).
- Complete the Uniform Contract for Cogeneration and Small Power Production Facilities (PDF) (page 150 to 157 in the Distributed Generation Policy).
- Create a One-line Diagram (PDF). This is a diagram of the proposed Distributed Energy Resource (DER) system showing the point of common coupling, PCC, to the Area EPS Operator’s Distribution System. See the Information Required on the One-line Diagram (PDF) .
- Obtain Manufacturer's Specs/Specification sheets.
- Create a Site Layout of the proposed DER system.
- Obtain a copy of current Homeowner's Insurance, scan and save a digital copy. (follow Insurance Requirements (PDF) on page 44 of Distributed Generation Policy).
- Obtain a copy of the Electrical Permit from the proper jurisdiction.
- Obtain a copy of the Building Permit from the proper jurisdiction.
- Scan or save all items from steps one through eight electronically. Submit them using the Option A: Steps 1-8 Submission Form.
- Wait for approval. Upon receiving a pre-application report from the utility, send $100 application fee payable to City of Anoka to the address of:
Anoka Municipal Utility (AMU)
Attn: CD Admin - Solar Fees
501 Pierce Street
Anoka, MN 55303
After the application fee is received, you will be notified, and with approval installation may begin.
Option B: Instructions and Submission Forms
After reviewing the options to start the process and you have determined to go with Option B, complete the following steps to continue your solar panel installation request.
After information from steps 1 through 4 above are received, the review process will start at AMU, and installation may begin.
Steps Upon Completion of Work and Submission Form
After installation, complete the following steps:
- Complete theCertification of Completion (PDF) (page 199 of the Distributed Generation Policy).
- Obtain Electrical Inspection Report from proper jurisdiction.
- Scan or save items from steps 1 and 2 electronically. Submit them using the Completion of Work Submission Form. (This must include location and contact person, and should be singular in content. Do not include multiple locations).
- Wait for AMU's master electrician to contact you to schedule Anti-Island testing .
- Meter seals are NOT to be cut by contractors or by homeowner(s) and MUST be scheduled through our AMU office. Contact us at the Anoka Municipal Shop.
- If you wish to have a production meter installed, which is not required, we can provide one for $40.00 . Please let our Master Electrician know in advance. Thank you!