Solar Energy that’s Right for You, Your Bottom Line, and the Environment
Based in Blaine, Minnesota, Cedar Creek Energy designs, builds, installs, and maintains Minnesota commercial solar energy systems and energy efficient lighting solutions throughout Minnesota. We offer comprehensive customized clean energy opportunities, from turnkey commercial solar energy systems to cherry-picked engineering, procurement, and construction services. We have successfully completed more than 500 projects of all types and sizes. And being from Minnesota, it’s in our nature to get along with people, so you can expect our interactions to be pleasant and respectful. Our focus is on you. We are not here to “sell you” on solar. We are here to listen to you, answer your questions, and help you make the decision that is right for you.
About Our Process – How We Work with Your Business
From the time of our initial contact with you through project completion, we will communicate with transparency, respect, and care, because that’s just the way our company rolls. Not just one of us. But all of our team. It’s a core value and people find this incredibly reassuring. Here’s a sense of how we work with you.
Benefits of Solar Installed by Our Minnesota Commercial Solar Energy Team
Solar panel costs have dropped 77 percent since 2010, while the quality and payback timeline has risen. After utility bonuses, grants, state and federal tax advantages, including a 30 percent tax credit, and other rebates, the typical solar project has a payback of 7-10 years. And take note, most solar arrays we design are under a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Are you looking for other reasons to explore what the sun and Cedar Creek have to offer?
- Solar panel systems offer a strong ROI for up to 25 years or longer
- Commercial solar energy system benefits include immediate tax advantages including tax credits, accelerated depreciation, bonuses and incentives tied to performance
- Commercial solar energy systems Increase the value of your property by the full amount of your investment
- Solar solutions offer a way for you to take one step closer to corporate sustainability
- Having a solar system will make your company will increase your awareness as a responsible corporate citizen
- Solar panel systems build your brand name and customer loyalty. Your customers will be proud that you operate your business using solar power, and are helping to save the environment by decreasing carbon emissions
- Solar systems offer energy independence
- Solar solutions do not require electricity generated by fossil fuels, a nonrenewable resource, which gives you power over rising electricity costs Solar solutions reduce your carbon footprint and save valuable natural resources
- It’s great fun to look at the consumption/production dashboard and see all the savings you are experiencing every day, real time.
Cedar Creek Energy assessed the company’s energy needs and available roof space through an energy audit. This information allowed solar designers and engineers to create plans for a custom solar ene...
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Commercial Project Photo Gallery
Solar Energy Systems for Minnesota Governments
Cedar Creek Energy is proud to work with Minnesota cities, townships, and municipalities to design custom solar systems. We know the importance of investing in clean energy for our state. Let Cedar Creek Energy guide you through the process of going solar. Learn more about solar for Minnesota governments >
Immersed in Evolving Solar Energy Technology and Sustainable Building Initiatives
At Cedar Creek Energy, we are immersed in evolving solar energy technologies and green building opportunities, financing, and regulatory issues and aim to apply our expertise, engineering rigor, and ingenuity to every single project, from residential home solar projects up to large commercial installations , and everything in between.
Commonly Asked Questions About Commercial Solar Energy Systems
It all depends on how much electricity you are seeking to generate from your solar system installation. For a commercial property, industrial manufacturing concern, farm, school district, soon-to-be built housing development, there is no “typical” amount of solar that is needed. Cedar Creek Energy installs Minnesota commercial solar systems that are specifically designed according to the needs and size of the facility and your goals as the owner. As a general rule, just one solar panel offers about 250 KWH hours per year, so depending on your energy load we can determine how large a system you will need.
Most Minnesota commercial solar energy systems will range between about 30 kilowatts on up to 1.2 megawatts or more. So if your company or business development or farm needs 30 kilowatts you will need approximately 3000 square feet of rooftop or for a ground-mounted system. If your project is 100 kilowatts you will need approximately 10,000 square feet of space.
At Cedar Creek Energy, we offer free audits and consultations that can help you determine whether solar would be a good step for you. Our clients know that it’s the right thing to do, but they need to justify it economically, as well.
First, you calculate how much electrical energy your building uses annually. You can get this information from your electric bill, or Cedar Creek Energy can obtain it for you through your utility company. You will then know exactly how many kilowatts you use per year. This will be the basis for our recommendations and your decisions, on the type of system you will install.
Our team will help you understand what you need to know, because a core value of our company is to treat each project as if it were our own. We aim to develop the solar installation that will be just right for you and your bottom line. Questions that you will want to consider include: do you want to generate power for a number of different buildings, how much are you seeking to offset your energy costs with Minnesota commercial solar energy systems – 50 percent, 80 percent, 100 percent? How much sunlight access do you have to generate power from the sun? In particular, how much sunny access do you have from about 10 am to 3 pm? What sort of roof angle do you have, as the angle of your roof will affect how much solar is absorbed, and thus the number of panels you may eventually need.
At Cedar Creek Energy, we will perform a site visit and carefully evaluate what is possible, including factors such as your needs and goals, land and roof space, finances, and other factors. We will ask you questions and share our knowledge to help you clarify what is possible and what could potentially be the optimal investment to maximize your ROI and payback period.
The other critical consideration is your financing.
Solar costs have dropped 77% in the last several years, with the quality of panels and components rising every year. Even so, solar technology is relatively new, and many traditional lenders still don’t understand how awesome an investment in green energy is.
Cedar Creek Energy has financial experts, interconnect experts, and other professionals who can help you secure the financial package that is the most economically viable for you right now and long-term. After serving since 2007 as Minnesota solar installers and turnkey solution providers for more than 500 successful commercial solar energy systems and residential homes, we have a wide range of financing options we can point you to, depending on your specific situation.
As well, we go the distance for our clients, overcoming any obstacle. We are diplomatic bulldogs when it comes to navigating zoning issues and building codes, and have even been successful in getting laws rewritten in a small country town so that our client could install solar on a farm.
Our CCE financing team has extensive understanding and knowledge of little-known grants, rebates, and other incentives at the city, county, state, and federal level that can offset the cost of building your solar array.
As of 2017 the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit is available. This is a federal tax credit that cuts your cost by 30 percent. You still pay for the whole project, but at the end of the year, you will receive a 15% credit on your federal income taxes. This is “real” money. If you paid $50,000 for your system, you will receive a credit on your tax liability of 15%, or in this case, $15,000, bringing the actual cost of your system down from $50,000 to $35,000. Additionally, we have knowledge of the various other programs offered by the 235 plus utilities that make up the Minnesota utility grid for commercial and residential solar projects.
On average, most commercial solar energy systems cash flow within four to seven years depending on the size of the project. This includes tax advantages and rebates and utility green energy bonuses.
Know that the first year or two, you’ll be paying off the loan you took for your installed solar system, rather than paying a utility bill. Here’s an example of one client’s ROI. In this residential installation, the client’s utility bill was cut by 87% over the course of the year.
You can consider installing LED lights, which is a service that Cedar Creek Energy provides its commercial clients. LED lighting upgrades more than pay for themselves. Lighting costs are typically about 30-40 percent of a building’s electric bill. That percentage can be reduced significantly when you consider that one LED bulb lasts up to 50,000 times longer than an incandescent bulb, and 10 times longer than a fluorescent bulb. LED lights allow you better coverage, improved lighting, the ability to control the lights in areas of your building that are not used, and more. Residential customers can simply purchase LED lights online or at a local home improvement store.
Another step you can take toward energy independence and green building practices is to install an energy storage system or battery to store your excess solar on your property. This storage-plus-solar option will allow you to actually reduce your dependence on the utility, especially when demand is high. Battery costs are dropping as technology evolves. At Cedar Creek Energy, we are in a holding pattern before strongly recommending our clients install backup batteries. The truth is that as the technology improves, the cost of backup batteries will come down. You will be the first to know when we recommend batteries as a best practice for all solar installations.
Yes, solar works in winter. Although northern climates receive fewer hours of sun in the winter, all you need is sun. The sun’s effect is in fact amplified on sunny days because the reflection of the snow generates even more light.
Research from appraisals indicates that, at a minimum, you can add the total cost of your solar installation to the value of your property. If you have a building worth one million dollars and you install a solar array valued at $225,000, your building or property would then be worth $1,225,000.
These days people like your customers or clients look very favorably on companies that have gone green and installed solar panels. It communicates to your customers that you care about the environment, you are committing to reducing your carbon footprint, and that you support sustainable building practices. Your customers and clients will ultimately vote with their pocketbooks.
This will depend on your energy needs, your goals, the size of your building(s) and facilities, sun access, and more.
We will design a solar system for you that will optimize your savings. We do this by basing our estimates on actual data from 20-year historical sun data. We will look at the amount of sun your property will accept, and design a customized engineering approach to maximize the placement and projected output of your solar array. Our clients have seen savings of up to 87% on their electricity bills, not to mention the number of pounds of Co2 saved per year, and the number of equivalent trees planted. Not only are you helping to save and preserve the environment, through rebates and other incentives, you are minimizing the total out-of-pocket cost you will pay for your solar system.
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