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Solar power in North Dakota

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Solar power in North Dakota

Solar power in North Dakota on rooftops can provide 19% of all electricity used in North Dakota.[1] The most cost effective applications for solar panels is for pumping water at remote wells where solar panels can be installed for $800 vs. running power lines for $15,000/mile.[2]

Net metering is available monthly to all consumers generating up to 100 kW, one of the worst policies in the country, as it is reconciled monthly at the avoided cost rate, meaning that only a portion is rolled over, although some utilities add a REC adder,[3] giving the state a D.[4] The primary reason to use net metering is to roll over summer generation to winter usage, which requires continuous roll over of excess generation.[5] Technically North Dakota's net metering policy is an FIT program, not a net metering policy, because meters are only read once a month, and is an FIT program that pays one of the lowest rates in the world, as it 1) only pays for excess generation, and 2) pays a lower, rather than a higher, rate. By comparison, Ontario's FIT program pays 80.2¢ Canadian/kWh for rooftop mounted solar panels.[6]

Solar race cars

Both North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota built solar race cars. A solar car uses less power than a toaster, but can travel continuously at 55 mph using energy stored in batteries, charged only from the car's solar panels. In 2009 a solar car of this type visited Fargo while setting the record for the farthest distance traveled by a solar car. Today's solar race cars are typically street legal, although they are so different looking that in Alaska someone thought it was a UFO.[7]


Source: NREL[8]
Grid-Connected PV Capacity (MW)[9][10][11][12][13]
Year Capacity Change % Change
2010 <0.1
2011 <0.1
2012 0.1
2013 0.2 0.1 100%

See also


  1. ^ Report Argues for a Decentralized System of Renewable Power Generation
  2. ^ North Dakota
  3. ^ North Dakota - Net Metering
  4. ^ Freeing the Grid
  5. ^ What is Net metering?
  6. ^ microFIT Price Schedule
  7. ^ Solar car stops in Fargo
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links

  • Incentives and Policies
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