Minnesota set to make major changes in state’s solar landscape

Last week both chambers of the Minnesota legislature passed measures and pushed through a compromise bill advancing a solar energy mandate. Despite opposition from major utilities the proposal  will mean a major change in the state’s renewable energy portfolio. In the House, lawmakers narrowly passed a bill that requires utility providers to obtain four percent of their energy from the sun by the end of 2025, and forces utilities to spend a percentage of revenues on residential and commercial solar installation incentives. These standards are among the most ambitious in the nation. The Senate counterpart included a more conservative one percent mandate by 2025 and does not require incentive spending. The conference committee compromise moved a proposal now pending before the MN Governor Mark Dayton, which includes a 1.5 percent mandate and a number of other incentives to promote solar adoption. While industry groups are wary of the mandate and environmental group say it doesn’t go far enough to promote the alternative energy source, the bill is a big step forward for solar in Minnesota. Upon gubernatorial signature, the proposal becomes state law, Minnesota will be the 17th state to adopt solar-use mandates.

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