Now, with a few simple steps, you can power your home, business or organization with solar energy - saving you 10% on your monthly electricity costs. MNCS' parent company, Novel Energy Solutions, developed the first three S*RC Community Solar Gardens in Minnesota's Xcel CSG program.  We are here to provide your electricity needs – at a cost cheaper than you currently pay. Joining a community solar garden is 100% free. With no installation on your home or land, a subscription can only benefit your family, business or organization.  Going solar has never been easier.

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A Community Solar Garden (CSG) is a large array of solar (PV) panels that you can subscribe to instead of putting panels on your roof.  The electricity generated by the CSG goes into the Xcel Energy grid and your portion is calculated.  You pay for your subscription and are credited for your solar production as a line item on your Xcel bill.  

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Why Minnesota Community Solar (MNCS)?

We are a Minnesota company that values our relationships with local communities.  From the farmers and building owners who host our Community Solar Gardens (CSGs), to our Community Partners who help educate subscribers, community members are always at the center of our business.
Minnesota Community Solar is a subsidiary of Novel Energy Solutions (NES), a Minnesota Solar company that has been installing solar panels throughout Minnesota since 2012.  NES worked to create the Community Solar Garden program in our state and installed the first three CSGs in Xcel territory to be operational.  They continue to focus on saving customers money and bringing economic growth to local communities.

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Your property could power a neighborhood

With Solar Energy.

If you have a sunny, spacious, flat piece of property, you may be able to host a solar garden. You would receive lease payments and a powerful marketing advantage – consumers like doing business with companies who care about the environment and local jobs.  You would also be supporting clean, local, solar energy at no cost.

Learn About QUALIFYING Properties 

Qualifying Properties Are:

  • Brownfields or flat land > 1 acre

    We are always interested in possible host sites.  Many plots of land aren’t great for farming, but are perfect for producing clean solar energy.

  • Flat roofs ( > 10,000 sq. ft)

    Large flat roofs allow for more panels in a garden, and economies of scale that make the garden cost effective for subscribers.  While an ideal CSG roof would be >10,000 sq. ft., we do install on smaller buildings.

  • Near electrical substations or 3 phase power lines

    CSGs produce a lot of power and need sufficient infrastructure so that electricity is transferred into to the grid efficiently.

  • In condition to support a 25-year lease

    Buildings should have a new-ish roof, though the building itself may be old.  Our staff will inform you of other variables that may apply for your property.

Photo is for example purposes only

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our team

Cliff Kaehler

CEO, NES & MNCS
READ Cliff Kaehler'S BIO

Cliff Kaehler

Cliff founded Novel Energy Solutions (NES) after working full-time on Wall Street in the Power and Renewables Group of Credit Suisse’s Investment Bank. During his time at Credit Suisse, Cliff worked on over $10 billion worth of deals in the debt, equity, project finance, mergers and acquisitions and tax equity sectors. Cliff graduated Cum Laude from Georgetown University with a double major in Finance and Accounting. He is also a co-owner of Kaehler Cattle Company and has been involved in agricultural exports to several continents including the first post-embargo exports to Cuba. NES has been actively involved in Community Solar due to the savings each garden creates and the money it keeps local. Recently NES acquired MNCS to further expand its footprint in Community Solar and to enhance its subscriber platform.

Jane Qualey

Manager of Subscriber and Community Outreach, MNCS
READ Jane Qualey'S BIO

Jane Qualey

A graduate of Hofstra University, Jane is excited to be advancing her home state's renewable energy portfolio with MNCommunity Solar. Before joining the team, Jane worked in land acquisition and sales for Community Energy and Sunshare, signing up multiple sites for solar development and over 2MW of residential subscribers for the community solar program. Jane manages subscriber and community outreach and is passionate about making solar accessible to all.

Will Georgia

Chief Operating Officer, MNCS & NES
READ Will Georgia'S BIO

Will Georgia

Will has a Masters Degree in Energy Economics and Policy from Yale University and has spent several years with the US Environmental Protection Agency's Strategic Planning Office. He has consulted on electricity markets for a Fortune 500 company and on clean energy markets in China. Will now leads operations for both NES and MNCS.

Rick Masloski

Business Development Executive
READ Rick Masloski'S BIO

Rick Masloski

Rick is a seasoned Business Development Executive. He has extensive Business Management experience with expertise in executive management, general management, product management and sales. His passion is in helping businesses grow-- taking them to the next level. He is a continuous improvement champion and renewable energy advocate. Rick’s focus is on getting subscriptions to the Solar Gardens in the Minnesota Community Solar Garden Program. In his spare time, he enjoys golfing, fishing and Boundary Water Canoe Area adventures.

Laura Gorski

Sales Support Manager
READ Laura Gorski'S BIO

Laura Gorski

As MN Community Solar’s Sales Support Manager, Laura provides operational management and support for Novel Energy’s community solar portfolio. She is a MN native and has previously worked on community engagement and business operations with an urban environmental outreach nonprofit and community solar company. Laura is excited to continue supporting community action and sustainable solutions with MNCS.

Ralph Kaehler

VP of Business Development, NES & MNCS
READ Ralph Kaehler'S BIO

Ralph Kaehler

Ralph Kaehler is also the Owner of Kaehler Cattle Company and has been involved in the agriculture industry his entire life. He has been involved in a wide-range of agricultural projects from being on several trade missions to several continents to leading trade missions to Cuba and signing the first contract to export products to Cuba since the embargo was partially lifted. Currently, he is advising on agricultural projects on 4 continents and has been involved in agriculture on 6 continents. His company also won the “Excellence in International Marketing” award from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture in 2004. Due to his extensive experience creating new markets for proven products he leads the development of new business and marketing for NES and MNCS.

Greg Froelke

Land Acquisition/ CSG Subscription Advisor for St. Augusta, MN
READ Greg Froelke'S BIO

Greg Froelke

Greg lives in St. Augusta, MN where he uses his decades of marketing experience to connect with residents and businesses about solar opportunities. A St. Cloud State University alum, Greg spent most of his career with Access Business Groups, a $13 billion global marketing and distribution company. Before his semi-retirement, Greg was awarded the 25yr top 1% Achievers award for outstanding leadership and business development. Now Greg focuses his energy on the solar industry and is the NES/ MNCS point person for land acquisition and subscriber education/recruitment in the St. Cloud area.

Duane Hebert

Director of Community Solar, NES
READ Duane Hebert'S BIO

Duane Hebert

Duane has over two decades serving in senior management and leadership positions in government and the private sector. He has been the government administrator (CEO equivalent) in three counties and three cities across Wisconsin and Minnesota. Duane currently leads our permitting and site planning efforts due to his knowledge of project management and local ordinances. Additionally, Duane works heavily with the PUC and Solar Working Group to ensure solar always has a fair hearing.

Mena Kaehler

Business Management / Utility Applications, NES & MNCS
READ Mena Kaehler'S BIO

Mena Kaehler

Mena grew up in the foothills of Colorado where she earned her degree in Mathematics from Colorado State University. She started her career as a 7-12 Math Teacher and has taught secondary math in Colorado, Mississippi, and Minnesota. She and her husband, Ralph, purchased his family’s century owned farm in MN in 1992. Together they raised two sons, Cliff and Seth, who are the 5th generation on the farm. In 2004, the Kaehlers were awarded the “Excellence in International Marketing” award from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Mena is actively involved in her community. She served as a Winona County Commissioner, during which time she held several positions in the Association of MN Counties (AMC), including the Board of Directors, State Environmental & Natural Resources Policy Chair, and the Futures Committee. Currently, she is on the St. Charles School Board. Mena travels locally, nationally, and internationally to promote agriculture. She has led or participated in trade missions to Cuba and China. She is a MN Ag and Rural Leadership (MARL) Class IV alumni, and is a member of multiple Agriculture and Farming organizations. In addition to being a founding partner of Novel Energy Solutions (NES), she is the utilities liaison for NES and MNCS. She works with Xcel Energy and other entities on the interconnection process, project design, and paperwork, while keeping applications moving forward for the "Made in Minnesota" solar incentive program.

Patrick Zander

Project Development Associate
READ Patrick Zander'S BIO

Patrick Zander

Patrick joined the MNCS team to contribute to Minnesota’s growing solar development. Prior to MNCS, Patrick worked in the Oil and Gas industry in western North Dakota and eastern Montana as a Title Examiner and Petroleum Landman. With over six years in the petroleum and residential title industry, Patrick has extensive skills and knowledge of land and mineral title requirements. He looks forward to using his skill sets to advance solar technology in his community and support the continued growth of Minnesota Community Solar.

Drew Sipila

Business Analyst
READ Drew Sipila'S BIO

Drew Sipila

Drew is a senior at the University of Minnesota studying Economics with a minor in Management. In addition to his studies, he is an active member of a fraternal organization, the gymnastics club, and served as the Vice-President for the Economics Student Organization on campus. Before finding his passion in solar energy, he previously worked in multiple on-campus and university ambassador positions, additionally volunteering for the income tax assistance program during tax season. He has been with Minnesota Community Solar since May 2016. If there are any questions you may have about the subscription process, feel free to contact him.

We pledge Commitment to our Environment and

Community

Learn more
  • POLLINATOR PLEDGE

    MNCS cares about our natural environment and has taken a Pollinator Pledge to avoid unnecessary pesticides and plant pollinator-friendly native grasses in our land gardens.