Shakopee Public Utilities

Shakopee Public Utilities

Solar Energy Information Hub 

Shakopee Public Utilities (SPU) is a Municipal Utility near the Twin-Cities and serves 16,800 electric customers. SPU is currently experiencing a very limited demand for interconnections with a small customer base, although they do have rebates in place for new distributed generation (DG) installations. The current process is very thorough, and requires multiple supporting documents and inspections before interconnection is allowed. This stringent procedure ensures that DG in Shakopee is producing electricity as expected and desired before construction begins and that the safety and operating procedures of the utility crews are not compromised. This method of application processing can be supported due to the low volume of applications received each year. SPU is subject to the State Conservation Improvement Program (Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources), which requires 1.5% of electric revenue allocated for energy efficiency programs. The program goal is to save 1.5% in energy (KWH) over the previous year’s consumption.

SPU does not anticipate any changes to the State Conservation Improvement Program for the near term. However, changes to the federal income tax credit (ITC) rules are expected to lead to an increase in applications over the next several years. An increased future demand, coupled with a non-scalable process, may overwhelm resources, and DG proliferation will affect other departments more and more with increased penetration. SPU can help prepare for this increase by providing more online information for customers and contractors, as well as improving their application tracking and storage practices.

Customers Served (as of October, 2015)

  • Serves 16,800 customers
  • In 2015, two interconnection applications were received
  • SPU has a total of 20 Solar PV installations as of the end of 2015


showInformation Access

0 of 2 Goals Not Started

[IA1] Create more written materials for distribution regarding solar and the enrollment process to reduce time spent addressing customer questions and concerns(0)

Most customers’ questions are handled on a case-by-case basis by phone and email

Create an online FAQ that would address the most common questions easily, and could be used by customers and contractors

[IA4] Provide standardized inspection checklist(0)

No inspection checklist currently exists

Create an inspection checklist for all onsite inspections. This would ensure speedy and organized inspections without errors. By making these checklists available to customers and contractors, they will have a better idea what SPU is looking for during the inspections and can help make it a straightforward process.

showApplication Tracking and Management

0 of 1 Goals Not Started

[AT9] Remove the User Agreement from the Application(0)

Currently SPU requires the customer to submit a User Agreement with their application, but is not enforcing this requirement

Take necessary internal steps to officially decide to remove the User Agreement as part of the interconnection application, then update the application packet and documentation to omit the User Agreement.

showDistributed Generation Database

0 of 2 Goals Not Started

[DGD1] Create one centralized location to store data from all systems(0)

Application information is not electronically stored in a database and is relatively difficult to update and access

Creating one centralized location to store data from all systems. This database could be integrated with the mapping tools to automate as much of the system as possible.

[DGD5] Add Interconnections to Internal Mapping Tools(0)

Application information is not electronically stored in a database

Start adding all approved interconnection projects to SPU’s internal mapping tools. The process could be designed such that DG sites are added to the map automatically as applications are processed.