Solar Power

Solar GardenAnoka 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:

Utility Benefits

  • 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

Customer Benefits

  • 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

Ownership Options

  • 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

American Public Power Association Powering Strong CommunitiesPricing & 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

Additional Information

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.

  1. Determine solar size:
    • Option A  is used for  20 KW or less (most common)
    • Option B  is used for limited usage.
  2. Complete the instructions for Option 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. 

  1. Complete the Simplified Interconnection Application (PDF) (page 100 to 104 in the Distributed Generation Policy).
  2.  Complete the Uniform Contract for Cogeneration and Small Power Production Facilities (PDF) (page 150 to 157 in the Distributed Generation Policy).
  3.  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)
  4. Obtain Manufacturer's Specs/Specification sheets. 
  5. Create a Site Layout of the proposed DER system. 
  6. 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).
  7. Obtain a copy of the Electrical Permit from the proper jurisdiction. 
  8. Obtain a copy of the Building Permit from the proper jurisdiction. 
  9. Scan or save all items from steps one through eight electronically.  Submit them using the Option A: Steps 1-8 Submission Form.
  10. Wait for approval. Upon receiving a pre-application report from the utility,  send $100 application fee payable to AMU, along with the installation address for reference. Pay one of two ways: 
    1. Mail to the address of:

      Anoka Municipal Utility (AMU)
      Attn:  Admin - Solar Fees
      501 Pierce Street
      Anoka, MN 55303

    2. Pay over the phone for a small phone fee. See our Rate Sheet for current Convenience fee on non-present payment charges. Call the city's Finance Department to make a "Solar Fee Payment" with reference to the installation address.

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.

  1. Complete the Pre-Application Report Request (PDF) (page 95 of the Distributed Generation Policy), then scan or save the file electronically and submit to AMU using the Pre-Application Report Request Submission Form.
  2.  Send $300 pre-application fee  payable to City of Anoka along with the installation address for reference. Pay one of two ways: 
    1. Mail to the address of:

      Anoka Municipal Utility (AMU)
      Attn: CD Admin - Solar Fees
      501 Pierce Street
      Anoka, MN 55303

    2. Pay over the phone for a small phone fee. See our Rate Sheet for current Convenience fee on non-present payment charges. Call the city's Finance Department to make a "Solar Fee Payment" with reference to the installation address.
  3.  Wait for approval. The Utility will provide the applicant with a Pre-Application Report within 15 business days once the completed Pre-Application Report Request and a $300 fee is submitted to the Utility.
  4. Complete the Interconnection Application (PDF), scan or save it electronically, then submit using the Interconnection Application Submission Form.

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:

  1. Complete theCertification of Completion (PDF) (page 199 of the Distributed Generation Policy).
  2. Obtain Electrical Inspection Report from proper jurisdiction.
  3. 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).
  4.  Wait for AMU's master electrician to contact you to schedule Anti-Island testing .

PLEASE NOTE:

  • 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!

Additional Questions

Additional information can be found on our Distributed Generation Policy (PDF). Check out our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)  page or contact us at Anoka Municipal Shop for further questions.