Solar Flare: Minnesota Leads Nation in Solar Mini-gardens

6 Aug 2019

Richie Porrazzo can't keep up with the new crop of solar gardens.

"This is nuts!" said Porrazzo, wiping sweat from his sun-baked scalp, as his crew scrambled to build an installation in Dakota County.

As they labored in the heat, two gardens next to them were already churning out power. Porrazzo said he would have to finish quickly, because more solar orders are waiting in Woodbury and Farmington.

Porrazzo is part of the solar flare in Minnesota, the nation's leader in solar gardens. The number exploded to 208 in 2018 — more than one-third of the total in the U.S.

Most states discourage solar gardens because their electricity costs almost three times more than the power from industrial-grade mega-facilities. But in Minnesota, solar power is a cottage industry that spreads money, jobs and electricity more evenly.

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