Getting Started with Solar Landing Page

This webpage contains information about solar energy in La Crescent. La Crescent is part of the SolSmart program, a national designation program through the Department of Energy. SolSmart is a national recognition program which encourages cities to make it faster, easier, and more affordable to grow solar energy.

About Solar Energy

 Solar energy can be used to generate electricity, to provide hot water, and to heat, cool, and light buildings. Minnesota is a great place for solar energy. Believe it or not, much of the Midwest has the same solar potential as Tallahassee, FL and Houston, TX! Through a combination of utility rebates and new technology, solar electricity continues to become more affordable and a more common part of our energy system.

Glossary of Solar Energy Terms:

Zoning, Permit and Inspection Process

 Complete and thorough applications for small rooftop solar PV permits will be processed in 3 business days. The permit application may be submitted for review by way of the Online Portal at City of La Crescent Solar Permit

For solar systems in La Crescent, the following permit process is required:

  • Electrical permit, through the State of MN
  • City of La Crescent Solar Permit (user must create an account)
  • Zoning certificates may be required as specified in the zoning ordinance.
  • Electrical inspections occur through a State inspector, more information can be found on the state webpage
  • For more information on electrical permitting, contact our state inspector at (507) 346-7164

Interested in your own solar energy system?

Wondering if a particular site in Minnesota is good for solar energy? The Minnesota Solar Suitability App can help. This tool displays the solar potential of every spot in the state of Minnesota. With this data, and the services provided through this application, home and business owners can easily identify the solar potential of their property.

How can I find a solar developer?

Minnesota is home to many solar companies. The Clean Energy Project Builder is a great place to find an assortment of clean energy businesses including solar installers, community solar garden developers, energy auditors and more. Wondering what questions to ask? Check out The State of Minnesota’s list of questions to ask potential renewable energy installers

How can I find a community solar garden?

Community Solar Gardens are centrally-located solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that provide electricity to participating subscribers. Xcel Energy customers can participate in projects offered by private developers. Members of other utilities in Minnesota can subscribe to a community solar garden if one is offered by their electric utility. Follow this link for great resources to learn more about if community solar is right for you.

What is La Crescent doing around solar energy?

La Crescent is participating in SolSmart, a national program that provides free technical assistance with addressing local barriers to solar energy. Through this program, La Crescent is working to make it easier for residents and businesses to choose solar energy.

Is Financing Available for Solar Energy Projects?

Residents interested in installing photovoltaic solar panels (the kind that produce electricity) on their property can access financing through the Center for Energy and Environment. Click here for more information. Businesses can finance solar energy projects through a tool called “Property-Assessed Clean Energy”, or PACE, in which energy-saving measures are paid for through property taxes. This can work well even for businesses that rent their space. More information on PACE financing is available here.

Interested in Employment in the Clean Energy Sector?

The MN Clean Energy Job Board is a tool that job seekers can use to find jobs in the energy efficiency and renewable energy fields, and that employers can use to post their latest openings.

Additional Links to Solar Resources                                         

 Other Solar Resources – Minnesota Commerce Department Home Solar Information, Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics

Solar Checklist :

Contact information

Jason Ludwigson – Sustainability Coordinator – City of La Crescent