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Minnesota regulators approve settlement limiting size of community gardens to 5 megawatts


ST. PAUL, Minnesota — State regulators have signed off on an agreement that would limit the size of community solar gardens in Minnesota.

Xcel Energy had been pushing for a limit amid concerns that some developers were proposing power plant-sized gardens. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved Thursday a settlement between the state's largest utility and a few community solar garden developers that caps a project's size at 5 megawatts, with the ability to serve about 715 homes.

Minnesota Public Radio News (http://bit.ly/1dkGWqI ) reports that community solar gardens allow utility customers to choose how much solar power to buy or lease.

Xcel predicted that its Solar Rewards Community program could serve 25,000 homes this year. The utility's customers would've had to bear the costs estimated at $100 million per year without the cap.

Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

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