New Incentives Create Unprecedented Growth of Solar Power in Minnesota

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Forty percent hike in utility costs over past decade drives new markets for JJR Power

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Solar power has because a clear economic value in hard dollars and cents to many customers.

As an array of state and federal grants turn solar power into a booming industry, Minneapolis-based solar specialists JJR Power announced today they are carving out a niche by helping customers navigate the complex financial waters.

From a hockey arena in Waconia, MN to an auto repair shop in Willmar, JJR Power is helping businesses and municipalities in Minnesota, Iowa and around the country adopt to solar power and take advantage of a distinctively favorable climate.

Before the creation of the US Treasury Department’s solar incentive program in 2009, solar wasn’t economical for many, said John Jaffray, president and founder of JJR Power. But with the establishment of federal, state and utility incentives, solar power has became a clear economic value in hard dollars and cents to many customers in Minnesota and Iowa – a “make sense” solution to counter the rising cost of electricity.

“Minnesota wasn’t a strong market until the Governor and the Legislature passed incentives last year,” Jaffray said. “As we have seen throughout the US, solar energy is being installed at almost every level of the economy; farms, schools, company, homes – because customers can save money long term.”

JJR Power works with businesses, schools, and nonprofits, farms – assisting them in gaining the clear economic value that solar can provide when coupled with the available incentives. Between a 30 percent tax credit and $50 million USDA grants, JJR Power is helping to drive key value to their customers.

Solar makes sense for an increasing number of these organizations as utility costs balloon and solar prices dwindle. Utility rates have gone up by 40 percent in the past decade and Xcel Energy’s rates are set to increase by 6 to 7 percent again over the next two years. In the meantime, the average installation costs for solar power has fallen by as much as 40% as more solar manufacturers enter into the marketplace.

Incentives and grants have been a catalyst for making solar economical. But getting grants is not guaranteed. It can be a complicated process, requiring expertise to recognize opportunities and maximize the chances of approval.

“Solar is not a one-size fits all proposition. We work with each customer to ensure that they qualify and are eligible for the incentives. We write the grants and provide the necessary expertise and follow through for the best value proposition.” said Mike Woodley, Director of Business Development for JJR. We provide a strong suite of analytical tools to our clients to help them win the awards they apply for. We put our skin in the game.”

Over the eight years they’ve operated, JJR Power has helped clients win grants for over 100 projects in four states for projects from solar installations to arrays that power high schools and municipal hockey arenas.

About JJR Power

JJR Power, a Minnesota-based energy and finance firm, was founded in 2006. The company works with installers, constructors, developers and organizations interested in financing and developing solar projects. JJR Power capitalized on opportunities in the energy sector and has created a vehicle for investing in assets with long duration, excellent credit quality and high risk-adjusted returns. For the past 8 years, JJR Power has been active in power markets across the United States, beginning with memberships in MISO, PJM, and ISO-NE. In 2009, the firm began advising, developing and financing companies and nonprofit organizations on their solar power installations in Colorado, California, New Mexico, Hawaii, North Carolina, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Minnesota. JJR Power provides increased value for off-takers, installers and developers, optimizing yield and safety of return for investors in the solar, wind and renewable energy space.

For more information, go or call (952) 715-3082.

For interviews, please contact media liaison Robb Leer at (612) 701-0608 or by email at:

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