Category Archives: IPS Solar

IPS Solar Ribbon Cutting & Open House

 

After years of attending our clients’ ribbon cuttings, we have decided to host our own! As you may know, every year we like to open up our office doors and let the party commence with an open house event for all our friends, family, clients, and community members. This year, our IPS Solar Open House, will also serve as a ribbon cutting celebration for our new 20kW rooftop array. Join us at our Roseville offices on Thursday, Sept. 12 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. for a fun night of festivities.

The evening will include a ribbon cutting ceremony, tours of the array, indoor and outdoor activities (including cornhole, foosball, and a dunk tank competition), and of course, some tasty eats from local favorite Afro Deli that you can wash down with brews from IPS clients: Insight Brewing, ABLE Brewery & Seedhouse and Utepils Brewing!

We hope to see you there! I mean – you don’t miss this opportunity to possibly dunk your favorite IPS employee.

RSVP Here!

IPS Solar Makes Top National Contractors List for 7th Straight Year

Solar Power World Magazine released their annual 2019 solar industry rankings and awards on Tuesday, July 23, and we are thrilled to be included for the 7th year in a row! This year IPS Solar was honored with the Greenest Contractor Award along with receiving high rankings in multiple categories! Check out the full list here

IPS Solar ranked 51st on the overall national solar contractor list and 12th among national solar developers. This year we ranked as the #1 solar developer in the entire Midwest and also snagged the award for Greenest Contractor in the Nation!

The Greenest Contractor Award celebrates a contractor making their company and community as environmentally friendly as possible. We’ve always strived to be ‘green’ in all aspects of our business, but we looked to improve even further in 2018.  At our office, we installed our very own 20kW rooftop solar array along with electric vehicle charging stations for employees and customers. Our lobby facade has been reconstructed using only locally reclaimed wood. We continued our commitment to planting pollinator-friendly habits at all of our community solar sites and lease solar garden land to local apiaries so they can build bee colonies. Some of the honey cultivated from these bee colonies has even made its way into local beers and ciders!  

Additionally, Solar Power World Magazine highlighted our community focused solar project located at Shiloh Temple in North Minneapolis. The article touches on our efforts to make solar more inclusive and our commitment to addressing the inequities surrounding community solar. Read the entire article here

The Top Solar Contractors list is developed by Solar Power World to recognize the work completed by solar contractors across the United States. Produced annually, the Top Solar Contractors list celebrates the achievements of U.S. solar developers, subcontractors and installers within the utility, commercial and residential markets, and ranks contractors by kilowatts installed in the previous year. IPS Solar was responsible for installing 35,555 kW of solar power in 2018.

We can’t thank Solar Power World Magazine enough for their recognition and want to congratulate all those included in this year’s list! We are so proud to be a part of this great industry, and we can’t wait for another successful year!

Thanks For Celebrating the Solstice With Us!

Thank you to all those who attended and supported our first annual Solstice Solarbration Community Fundraiser benefiting MN350, Climate Generation, and MNIPL. It was such a pleasure to partner with these nonprofits and hear their amazing stories.

We are THRILLED to announce that we raised over $4,300 for these great causes! Of course, your support of these nonprofits doesn’t have to stop here! You’re welcome to make additional donations or volunteer your time and support at each organization’s website.

We are extremely thankful for our presenting sponsor MnSEIA and our supporting sponsors Sundial Energy, New Energy Equity, EganCo, EMS Partners, CPS, CED Greentech, and Werner Electric! Without the support of incredible organizations like these, we would not have been able to throw the luau of a lifetime and support critical environmental efforts right here in Minnesota.

Check out some of our favorite pictures from the 2019 Solstice Solarbration at Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge in NE Minneapolis! Tropical drinks, festive games, unique raffles, and island music – We hope you had as much fun as all of us. Share your event pictures with us by using #mnsolarbration19.

Celebrate the Solstice With IPS Solar!

 

IPS Solar is throwing a Solstice Solarbration & Community Fundraiser at Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge! Join us as we celebrate the longest day of the year and support several amazing nonprofits!

The evening will include a tasty family style buffet, Psycho Suzi’s famous tropical drinks, festive music, games, fabulous raffle prizes and an unparalleled view of the Mississippi River from Suzi’s private waterfront balcony.

Get Tickets!

Ticket Options

-Early Bird Admission (Until June 1st): $65
-General Admission (After June 1st): $80

Your Ticket Includes: 

– 1 raffle ticket (additional tickets can be purchased at the event)
– 2 drink tickets
– Family style buffet dinner
– a night full of fun and adventure!

Supporting Sponsorship: $500 

– six event tickets
– your company name/logo listed on event promotional materials
– your company name/logo included on event signage and at table
– a shout out from the event hosts during opening remarks

Presenting Sponsorship: $1,000

– nine event tickets
– your company listed as event co-host on all promotional materials and event signage
– ability to set up a small promotional table at the event
– ability to make brief remarks during the event

 

Proceeds from the event will be supporting the work of several amazing nonprofits.
MN350: MN350 unites Minnesotans as part of a global movement to end the pollution damaging our climate, speed the transition to clean energy, and create a just and healthy future for all.

With the imagination and dedication of thousands of volunteers and working in coalition with organizations statewide, MN350 is making Minnesota a leader in the transition to a just and livable clean energy economy. MN350 uses a full range of peaceful methods, including policy advocacy, bold public events, political engagement and nonviolent direct action to change the rules of government and corporate behavior.                                                   

Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy: Climate Generation was founded by polar explorer, Will Steger, based on his powerful eyewitness to climate change from over 50 years exploring the Polar Regions. We recognize the power of eyewitness accounts and personal story, acknowledging that as our world warms, we all have a climate story to tell. Our programs work to realize our vision: a world of resilient communities with equitable solutions to climate change and our mission to empower individuals and their communities to engage in solutions to climate change.

We provide educators, youth, policymakers, communities, and business leaders with the resources and opportunities to engage in solutions to climate change. Across these audiences, our programs work to build climate literacy, develop powerful climate advocates, and elevate leadership. Each year we reach 5,000 educators, 3,500 youth, and thousands of people through our public engagement.

Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light: MNIPL is an interfaith community co-creating a just and sustainable world. They work in partnership with faith communities to build transformative power and bring the lights of people’s unique gifts to addressing the climate crisis.

They do this in two ways: leadership development programs and action opportunities that provide tangible ways to make an impact. MNIPL believes that it’s not enough to offer people opportunities to take action on the issues they care about. Instead, they believe leadership development and organizing training empower individuals to build a movement capable of creating a just and livable climate for the human and more than human world.

2019 Brings Changes to Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards Program

Xcel Energy’s popular Solar*Rewards incentive program has undergone a few key changes for 2019. These changes are highlighted by adjusted incentive rates, additional consumer protection provisions, and a new low-income branch of the program.  These changes come only six months after the Minnesota Legislature passed HF 3232, which raised the capacity size limit for Solar*Rewards projects from 20kW to 40kW. You can read about that change here.


Incentive Rate Changes


In 2018 both commercial and residential program participants received $.08 for every kilowatt hour of electricity they produced.  This year, the incentive rates have dropped to $.06 per kWh for commercial participants and $.07 per kWh for residential participants.  While these reduced rates will lower the financial benefit program participants receive, they will allow the total incentive budget to be split among more projects.

 


Consumer Protection Provisions


The Solar*Rewards program now requires every installer submitting a residential application to be a licensed Minnesota Residential Building Contractor.  This aims to help protect customers by ensuring that only qualified installers are using the program.  


The new MN Contractor Recovery Fund was also created with customers in mind. The fund compensates owners or lessees of residential property in Minnesota who have suffered actual and direct out-of-pocket loss due to a licensed contractor’s fraudulent, deceptive or dishonest practices, or failure of performance.


Income Qualified Incentives


This year Xcel Energy has added Income Qualified Incentives into the Solar*Rewards program.  These incentives are only available to customers that meet certain income guidelines and have separate rates for residential, non-profit & multi-family, and solar garden customers.

 


Unlike the traditional Solar*Rewards incentives, the Income Qualified Incentives are structured as an upfront per-watt rebate combined with a production incentive. Xcel has set aside between 10 and 20 percent of the total incentive pool specifically for these projects. With the current budget at just over $9,000,000, at least $900,000 will be set aside for Income Qualified Incentives.  

Announcing Our Next Commercial Solar Power Hour

Join us for some tasty appetizers and great beer in Surly’s Scheid Hall Room on March 13th. Happy hour begins at 4:00 pm followed by a formal discussion at 5:15 pm. Network with fellow professionals and learn how investing in solar can decrease your business’ tax liability.  We will focus on how the upcoming expiration of the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has created a sense of urgency for businesses looking to switch to solar. Tickets are $20.

Your ticket gets you:
– Entry into the event
– Free access to Surly’s collection of tap beers
– Free appetizers served throughout the evening

 

Featured Speakers

Norman Jones –  Shareholder / Attorney – Winthrop & Weinstine 

Norm has been structuring and closing tax credit transactions at Winthrop and Weinstine for over 20 years. In that time, he has closed over 700 megawatts of renewable energy tax credits. His accolades include being named Minnesota Lawyer’s Attorney of the Year in 2006, and one of Real Estate Law’s Best Lawyers in America for 2018-2019.

Eric Pasi – Chief Development Officer – IPS Solar

Since 2007 Eric’s helped to accelerate significant solar power adoption in Minnesota and the upper Midwest for IPS Solar. Pasi has developed notable projects including the Green Line Solar Corridor, more than 70 megawatts of community solar, and the company’s successful Solar & Schools program.

 

Surly Tap List
– Axe Man – IPA
– Space Race – Hazy IPA
– Liquid Stardust – Brut IPA
– Circular Reasoning – Roggenbier
– Resilience – IPA
– Furious – IPA
– DAF – Brut IPA
– Pentagram – Brett Dark Sour Ale
– Staycation – Pineapple Lactose IPA
– Weizenbock – Weizenbock

 

Event Menu
– Cheese board | selection of artisanal cheeses, honeycomb, marmalade, candied nuts, crostini & crackers
– Antipasto | sopressata, coppa, mortadella, artichokes, olives, giardiniera, crostini & crackers
– Chilled dips | pimento cheese, pico de gallo, black bean salsa, hummus
– Tater tot hot dish | smoked pork & brisket, mushrooms, corn, chilies
– Heirloom green salad | marcona almonds, radish, pickled tomato manchego, sherry vinaigrette
– Mini lobster rolls | butter toasted bun
– Cuban sliders | smoked pork, house-cured ham, mojo sauce, pickles, gruyere
– Smoked salmon crostini | house-smoked salmon, creamy shallot spread
– Deviled eggs trio | cornichon | piquillo relish & bacon | radish & pickled ..mustard seed (GF)
– Lamb gyro skewers | lamb meatball, tomato, cucumber, tzatziki sauce (GF)
– Sambal chicken skewers (GF)
– Chocolate chip cookies

 

We hope to see you there!

Illinois Communities Preparing for Solar

By Amit Shukla

Illinois’s Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) will be the premier legislation to drive renewable energy and economic development in the state of Illinois. Many communities, townships, school districts, colleges, and building owners are gearing up for this legislation.

Along with energy efficiency improvements, this legislation calls for 1.3 GW of wind and 3 GW of solar by 2030. About 1500 MW of solar needs to be built by 2021 and of this approximately 670 MW is distributed generation. The Illinois Power Agency has issued the Renewable Energy Procurement Plan.

The intent of this blog post is to summarize the new “Adjustable Block Program” program.

In a market where energy prices are cheap, the primary mechanism to incentivize these projects is via Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). One REC is equivalent to 1 MWh and it’s the “clean energy” attribute of generating renewable energy. These certificates will be set according to the “Adjustable Block Program” for community solar and behind the meter projects.

Depending on the size of the project and the utility company whose territory the project lies in, the Illinois Power Agency will grant REC values to incentivize these projects. There are separate blocks for community solar and those for distributed generation (DG), which consists of commercial, industrial, and residential.

On the community solar side, based on IPAs draft procurement plan, these REC values may range from just above $100/REC to just under $50/REC. Similarly on the DG side, these REC values may range from close to $80/REC to $30/REC, depending on size and the block.

IPA has issued the first three blocks and the REC values in these blocks will reduce over time. Hence it is important to get in early. These REC values will be paid at an accelerated level of 100% up front for residential solar and within five years for commercial and community solar projects. All incentives along with the federal investment tax credit and accelerated depreciation are expected to defray the upfront cost of doing solar.

Click here to read more!

Minneapolis Debuts World’s First Solar Farm Cider

Among the rolling hills adjacent to a nature preserve in St. Joseph Minnesota is Milk & Honey Ciders. Their latest crisp and balanced cider is “Solar Sweet Farm Cider”, a collaboration with the beekeepers at Bare Honey which tend a busy family of happy honey bees on the solar farm adjacent to the cidery.

IPS Solar and nonprofit Fresh Energy helped make the connection between the beekeepers and the cidery. IPS develops all of its solar farms to have abundant pollinator habitat. Project Manager for IPS and former ASES Board Member Laura Cina says “I think all of the old school solar installers are really just big hippies at heart, so if it costs a little extra to plant vegetation that will boost biodiversity, prevent erosion, help save the pollinators, than that’s what we’re going to do.” Fresh Energy is the nation’s leading nonprofit group highlighting the opportunity for solar farms to provide beneficial habitat for pollinators including bees and butterflies. Minnesota Native Landscapes manages the flowers and vegetation at the solar farm.

Acclaimed restaurateur and two-time James Beard award semifinalist, Kim Bartmann is excited to highlight this delicious collaboration at her restaurants in Minneapolis just in time to celebrate all the work that pollinators did earlier this year in apple orchards throughout Minnesota.

About Solar Sweet Farm Cider
“Solar Sweet Farm Cider” — Golden Russet & Kingston Black apples with honey harvested from the solar farm adjacent to the cidery. Tropical fruit notes from the Golden Russet and herbal spice from the Kingston Black, earthy & sweetness from the honey. 8% abv.

About the Community Solar Garden
The Walz Family farmed this land for decades but when the patriarch farmers of the family passed away the younger generation looked for ways to keep the land in the family. They quickly discovered that leasing the land to a solar garden was more profitable than leasing to another farmer. Additionally, the environmental benefits for the land and surrounding community was a very attractive proposition.
Environmental benefits include:
– Resting the land from farming for 25 years helps build nutrients in the soil
– Clean energy being produced
– The deep root systems of wildflowers and grasses prevent erosion
– Native plantings create food for pollinators

Guarantee Savings With Community Solar

New Value of Solar tariff ensures financial benefits for participants

 

CFO’s and Energy Managers – it’s time to celebrate!  You can now confidently recommend Community Solar today understanding exactly how much your organization will save each year, with the comfort of knowing that number will always be positive from year 1 to year 25.

Facilities Managers can also celebrate, there’s no need for panels on your roof.  Community Solar allows ratepayers to participate in nearby solar projects, with benefits automatically credited to their monthly utility statements. IPS Solar identifies land, develops projects, and contracts with energy users (subscribers) to offer a simple, straightforward approach to energy savings.

 

From Risk To Stability 

Previously, solar developers presented assumptions regarding long-term utility costs.  Many prospective subscribers were concerned with what was perceived to be unknown price risk and may have decided that the program didn’t offer the assurances needed to make an informed decision.  Under Xcel’s new program iteration called Value of Solar, Community Solar subscribers can accurately forecast both the costs and benefits of their commitments upfront. 

Over the last three years Community Solar in Minnesota has become a more stable and mature market, allowing the utility, ratepayers and solar developers to benefit from more predictable energy values.   Xcel’s new Value of Solar tariff sets a known price for solar compensation, contracted for 25 years. 

 

Real Savings

Organizations can expect to save thousands up to millions of dollars during the term of an agreement.  The chart below illustrates indicative benefits for subscribers with varying energy consumption:

Lease Your Roof or Property!

IPS continues to specialize in helping organizations monetize under-utilized real estate like roofs, parking lots, or unproductive land.  Lease your roof so others in the community can benefit from solar energy. We offer very competitive rates and a quick turn around on assessing feasibility at your sites.  Many commercial real estate sectors are getting in on the action; from industrial warehouses to brownfields to multi-family units. Let us help assess your solar revenue potential.

 

 

About IPS Solar:

IPS Solar, a leading provider of solar power solutions in Minnesota and the Midwest, is focused on the development, installation and management of solar power systems for commercial, community solar and residential customers. IPS Solar is one of the fastest growing solar systems providers in the United States, delivering rooftop commercial projects to multi-megawatt community solar gardens.

Our company’s mission is to lead the transition away from fossil fuels toward renewable power while saving money for our customers. For over 25 years, IPS Solar has been serving clients with integrity and excellence.

IPS’ Eric Pasi Honored as Midwest Energy’s 40 Under 40

Midwest Energy News has announced their 2018 40 Under 40, which includes IPS Solar’s Eric Pasi, Chief Development Officer.  We’re grateful for his leadership over the past 11 years!


Eric Pasi joined IPS Solar in 2007, a company with 15 years of renewable energy experience at that time. Since then he’s helped to accelerate significant solar power adoption in Minnesota and the upper Midwest. Pasi has developed unique financing programs, won competitive opportunities, and jumpstarted the company’s successful Community Solar Gardens program. To date, Pasi has contributed to nearly 100MW of distributed Midwest solar projects. Pasi graduated from the Carlson School at the University of Minnesota in 2006 where he focused on entrepreneurial management and marketing. Currently, he is an advisor to the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).