Way up North, clean energy advocates in Minnesota are working hard to pass one of the most ambitious solar energy bills anywhere in the country this year. The Minnesota Clean Energy and Jobs Act (HF880/SF763) would increase the state’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES) to 40 percent by 2030, tying it with Hawaii for the most aggressive clean energy goal in the nation. In addition, the bill would ensure that a whopping 4 percent of the state’s power supply comes from solar energy.
And it doesn’t stop there!
The bill also includes detailed language establishing a new solar incentive program for energy customers. The incentive is carefully designed to deploy lots of new solar energy while keeping program costs low. The bill also raises the state’s net metering cap, and establishes a well-designed Value of Solar Tariff program as a voluntary alternative to net metering. This is serious grade-A solar legislation, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure this bill becomes law.
To learn more check out the local advocates’ campaign website here.
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Minnesota, long known for its great wind resources, has a fantastic solar resource as well. The state is on track to meet its 25% renewable energy goal with almost 100% wind resources by 2025 (XCEL Energy’s renewable energy goal is 30% by 2020). Without a strong solar goal in place, Minnesota already has a thriving solar manufacturing industry – unfortunately most of their products are exported out of state. We’d like to change that, and start a real solar market in the state.
During the 2012 legislative session, the state passed a law to allow more state funds to be used to install solar on new public buildings. It’s a good first step towards building a solar market in the state!
Vote Solar’s lead for Minnesota is Annie Lappé, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 720.402.9102