In 2007, Minnesota adopted two renewable portfolio standards (RPS). One requires Xcel, the state’s largest utility, to derive 30 percent of sales from renewables by 2020. Other utilities must produce 25 percent from renewables by 2025. Due to its success, Minnesota lawmakers are considering increasing the amount of renewable energy to be used by 2030.
Minnesota House bill H.F. 956, authored by Rep. Melissa Hortman, includes an important proposal to expand the state’s renewable energy standard (RES) to 40% by 2030. This bill also includes important new clean Energy requirements to create a solar standard and expand the use of distributed generation throughout Minnesota.
The Senate omnibus energy bill, S.F. 901, authored by Sen. John Marty, includes a proposal to conduct a 40% by 2030 RES transmission and integration study. This study helps lay the foundation for the expanded renewable energy standard. The Senate bill also includes a smaller solar standard of 1% by 2025 and important changes to encourage and increase distributed generation.
Please let your state senator and state representative know you support these clean energy initiatives. Start by entering your zip code below.
Wind is good for business. Currently, the wind industry provides up to 3000 jobs in Minnesota, and more than 100 companies provide manufacturing, fabrication and other components for the wind industry.
Wind keeps electricity prices low. Most utilities find complying with the existing RES has had little or no negative impact on consumer electric rates. The increased RES is Minnesota’s opportunity to continue injecting competition into the energy market. Without competing energy sources in the market, utilities will rely on conventional new electricity generation sources, which may not be the lowest cost for ratepayers in the long run.
Wind generates economic development. Wind brings nearly $8 million a year in property tax payments to Minnesota, and payments to landowners add another $8 million annually. The Minnesota wind industry needs support just like any other home-grown business. The time is right to bolster this industry for the jobs it provides, the clean energy it delivers, and the economic development it offers rural communities.
Tell your legislators that 84% of Minnesotans are in favor of wind energy, 78% support this increased Renewable Energy Standard, and that you want him to support it, too.
(Polling done January 2013 by Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates and Public Opinion Strategies)