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. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or contact us at Anoka Municipal Shop.
Steps To Start the Process
Complete these first three steps to request installation for solar panels on your home or business.
- Determine solar size:
- Option 1 is used for 20 KW or less
- Option 2 is used for limited useage.
- Complete the steps according to the options selected in step 1.
OPTION #1 Steps (Most typical)
After the first three steps to start the process are complete and you have received a Pre-Application Report with utility approval, then 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 (
- Create a One-line Diagram (PDF).
- Obtain Manufacturer's Specs.
- Create a Site Layout
- Obtain a copy of current Homeowner's Insurance (follow requirements 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.
- Send $100 application fee payable to City of Anoka to the address of:
City of Anoka
Community Development Department Re: Solar Fees
2015 1st Ave
Anoka, MN 55303
- Submit all required from steps 1 through 9 above to AMU shop administration email.
After information from steps 1 through 10 above are received, the review process will start at AMU, and installation may begin.
OPTION #2 Steps
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
After installation, complete the following steps:
- Complete the Certification of Completion (PDF) (page 199 of the Distributed Generation Policy) and submit to AMU shop administration email.
- Obtain Electrical Inspection Report from proper jurisdiction and
- After steps 1 and 2 are completed, Email the Master Electrician at AMU to schedule Anti-Island testing. All e-mails must include location and contact person, and should be singular in content. (do not include multiple locations).
- 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!