FAQ

What is a Community Solar Garden?

A Community Solar Garden (CSG) is typically a large scale solar installation that allows individuals or businesses (subscribers) to obtain their energy from solar even if they are not able to utilize their own home/roof. The solar garden’s output is fed directly into the utility via an interconnection to Xcel’s grid. Based upon the output of the system the subscriber’s portion of the gardens production will be credited on their bill from the utility (Xcel). As a result, the subscriber will see immediate cut in electricity costs.

What does it mean to have subscription to Community Solar Garden?

A subscription with Greenway Solar lets you receive energy from the sun without having to put solar panels on your property. Your subscription is like a service contract, instead of actually owning the solar array. When you subscribe each month, Xcel will give you credit on your bill for the electricity generated by your portion of the community solar garden. A small portion of those credits gets paid to Greenway Solar for building, maintaining, and monitoring your CSG. Meanwhile, majority of the credit gets put right back into your pocket and you save cash while using clean energy.

Can anyone join?

Any renters, homeowners, businesses, or nonprofits can join as long as they have an electricity account with Xcel Energy. You must also be located in the same or neighboring county to Greenway Solar’s Community Solar Garden. We currently serve 12 counties in the Twin Cities and Minnesota area and are growing. Click the subscription link and give us your information and we will get back to you immediately as to whether or not you are elighible for one of our community solar gardens.

Is Greenway Solar local?
  • Yes, Greenway Solar is a Minnesota born company that uses Minnesota labor, Made in Minnesota Solar Panels, and the Minnesota Sunlight to bring our subscribers the most efficient form of the cleanest energy around.

  • Our Community Solar Gardens help boost the local economy by using Minnesota labor to build the solar panels, install the solar arrays, rent space from local businesses to create our community solar gardens, and helping you save money on electricity.

  • We have a focus on providing cheaper energy to low income households in Twin Cities area, as well as businesses and nonprofits.

  • We also team with Community Partners and support the local organizations.

  • On top of helping you save money and providing the local economy with jobs, Greenway Solar’s community solar gardens reduce amount of energy generated from coal, giving you a cleaner environment and safer planet for you and the next generations.

Why should I join with Greenway Solar over other companies?

All community solar gardens provide clean and renewable energy. There are other Community Solar Gardens that even help you save money on your electricity bill. But, here at Greenway Solar we pride ourselves in having the very best customer care. We have worked our tails off to provide our subscribers with the best possible Subscription Agreement while also supporting all labor needs here in Minnesota. Greenway Solar is focused on providing low income households with the cheapest and cleanest energy, so our fellow Minnesotans will have more money in their pockets and a cleaner environment. Our team wants to make it easy for you to go solar. Join the Team!

What happens to my subscription if I move?
  • If the location that you move is within the same county or to a neighboring county, you can still be part of the same solar garden. In this way a subscription to one of our CSGs makes moving much more simple than if you install solar panels on your own roof. Greenway Solar keeps track of all subscriptions and provides great customer care in these situations.
  • If you do move to a non-neighboring county or to a different state, you will not be able to participate in the same CSG. This puts your subscription into a little bit of a bind. Lucky for you Greenway Solar make things as smooth as possible by deciding with you which of the options is best for you. 

      • Sell your subscription back to Greenway at fair market value,

      • Depending on situation, include in contract to next homeowners,

      • Donate the subscription to a non profit.

      • Transfer the subscription to another friend or family member.

     

     

Do I subscribe upfront? Or how do I pay for a subscription?

Subscribers, depending on situation, will have choice between a pre-pay option, a pay-as-you-go option, or a combination of both. Most consumers, however, will chose to pay-as-you-go so there is no up-front costs and they can immediately begin saving money. Our associates will work with you to decide which payment model best fits you to provide the greatest results in creating a lower utility bill for you. Greenway Solar manufactures and installs panels in bulk through our community solar gardens. Consequently, we are able to save you more money on electricity than you going through the process yourself.

What if panels create less energy than expected or it is cloudy?

We ensure that you only pay an amount that correlates with how much electricity was produced. This way our subscribers are not at risk of losing money if the panels are not creating as much electricity as expected, or if the weather is not good for creating solar energy. Our panels do still create energy on cloudy days, but in Minnesota we have snow, rain, and ice and we fully understand that. As a response, excess energy credits from months of direct sunlight will be carried over to those months when weather is not as good for capturing direct sunlight.

What are the environmental benefits?

The single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. is generation of electricity. If you choose to switch to solar, you will greatly reduce the amount of:

  • CO2 emitted into the atmosphere (leading cause of climate change)
  • SO2 emitted into the atmosphere (leading cause of acid rain)
  • NOX emitted into the atmosphere (leading cause of smog)

The average home that switches to solar also has the same environmental impact as planting 200 trees a year! Join one of Greenway Solar’s community solar gardens and start helping our Minnesotans health, the health of wildlife, and Minnesota’s natural environment.

Where does Greenway Solar’s panels come from?

We use panels built here in Minnesota by Itek Energy. These built in Minnesota panels use cutting edge high efficiency monocrystaline cells. Our frames are made with high-strength anodized aluminum frames in order to handle heavy wind and snow loads. Our panels are made with solar glass that is best in the industry. The ultra-clear glass with the best performing anti-reflective coating makes it perfect for all conditions, including low light. Itek Energy’s HE cells are among the highest efficiency p-type cells in the world. On top of that, our panels only weigh 43 lbs making installation much easier. Easy installation means lower overall system costs, saving you money.