The Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL) was founded after Jason Edens & BJ Allen obtained solar panels destined for a landfill and installed them on the roof of their home in Bemidji to reduce their energy costs. That evolved into helping others in the rural Minnesota community break down the financial barriers to accessing the benefits of solar PV and solar thermal technologies. RREAL grew and also offered solar design-build services in central Minnesota and across the rest of the state from 2000 to 2013.
In 2014, the Design-Build program began operating as REAL Solar, a self-standing subsidiary of RREAL. Based out of a solar-powered office and installation headquarters along Hwy 371 near Backus, MN, we have designed and constructed over 4 megawatts of solar installations ranging through the residential, commercial, off-grid, utility, and government markets. We are comprised of a cohesive team of skilled builders & engineers that honor our humble, grass roots beginnings with a commitment to our mission of providing the highest value solar installations for every customer. We craft lasting solutions that meet individual needs and goals, so everyone can realize all of the benefits that solar power has to offer. Our team is guided by the following values;
Integrity - in the entire process from your initial inquiry with our non-commissioned sales staff to our construction crew handing over the keys of a newly installed system.
Quality - in creating individually tailored designs and utilizing locally sourced equipment deployed by our licensed, certified, and experienced technicians. Using a whole team approach, REAL Solar provides customers with the highest value Solar PV systems, and the best return on investment.
Commitment - to invest in our clients, our team, the community, and everyone’s future. Many of us live with solar ourselves, and we work every day in our office that is heated and powered with solar!
REAL Solar continues to support RREAL as their preferred design-build contractor and partner for non-profit projects including Community Solar for Community Action, Solar for Schools, Skip the Grid, and Habitat for Humanity among many others. A portion of the independent project proceeds from REAL Solar go to support RREAL’s Solar Assistance Program for low-income families.
Solar Powered Furnaces, and 40 kW of solar on site not only reduce the electric bills of families in the neighboring Leech Lake Reservation, but help us operate year-round in rural Backus, Minnesota. Along highway 371 between Brainerd & Bemidji, we offer the benefits of solar to anyone including local farmers, businesses, lake homes, hunting cabins, reservations, and anyone who wants realize the many benefits of solar.
Awards, Certifications, & Memberships
Licensed Minnesota Building & Electrical Contractor #BC693420 & #EA693891
Licensed North Dakota Building & Electrical Contractor #55330
NABCEP Certified PV Installer PV-062420-031325
2016 - 2019 Solar Power World - Top US Solar Contractor
3.15 MW of Solar PV installed since 2014
A portion of proceeds from all installations go to support RREAL & their Solar Assistance Program