The St. Cloud City Council recently voted to rezone land to create a place for a solar garden. Solar gardens are essentially tracts of land on which solar panels are built. The panels are then connected to the power grid. Garden “subscribers” buy into the project and receive a credit on their electric bill.
Minnesota passed a law in 2013 that requires utilities to get at least 1.5 percent of their electricity from solar by 2020. The law has put Minnesota on the front lines of solar garden development nationwide.
A good article on solar gardens and the zoning issues associated with them is here.