The Minnesota Solar Energy Industry Association (MnSEIA) celebrated the passage by the Minnesota legislature of a historic $80 million investment in the Solar Power and Energy Storage Incentive Program. This Congress has seen an unprecedented level of interest, support and momentum for clean energy. MnSEIA is an omnibus environment, natural resources, climate and energy finance and policy bill (HF2310) contains the following budget items:
- Funded $29.3 million for a popular school solar program that saves school districts and local property taxpayers thousands of dollars each year.
- $7 million for Minnesota’s first Energy Storage Incentive Program for an onsite energy storage system.
- $5 million for a public building solar program to increase access to solar power for a wide range of communities in Minnesota.
- $4.2 million to add solar power to Blaine’s National Sports Center, saving thousands of dollars in monthly energy costs.
- Funding of $12.5 million for Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards program.
- $3.4 million for the University of St. Thomas Microgrid Research Center.
- $10.2 million for distributed energy upgrade grants to improve interconnection schedules.
- $5.3 million for grid resilience grants.
- $3 million for MnSEIA member Clean Energy Economy Minnesota’s (CEEM) Energy Array Initiative.
- $250,000 for an energy storage system capacity study to assess the amount of energy storage needed to meet the state’s new 100% carbon-free standard.
- $420,000 for a multi-agency study and report on developing a statewide system for reusing and recycling solar panels.
The bill also makes a number of significant policy changes, including:
- Community Solar Garden Program Update Expand existing markets through traditional programs and create new opportunities.
- Distributed Generation (DG) Standard. Requires all investor-owned utilities to meet a percentage of their energy procurement through DG Solar (1-3% depending on utility) by 2030. It is estimated that this will add about 800 MW of new solar power. grid;
- The “Customer’s Bill of Rights” law imposes certain restrictions on homeowners’ associations seeking to limit solar power and allows utility customers to request energy usage data from their utilities and locations. is. This will allow 1 in 4 Minnesotans living in HOA to have free access to solar power.
Other energy-related items included in the bill include employee training, electric vehicle rebates, and state competitiveness funds that match federal grants to renewable energy projects. more.
“It’s a new era for solar power and energy storage in Minnesota,” said MnSEIA Executive Director Logan O’Grady. “The policies enacted in this legislature will set off a historic clean energy boom in our state. It’s a big signal that it’s the market of choice.Members of Congress have just created exciting opportunities for hundreds of family-supporting jobs and small businesses.This is truly a monumental Congress, MnSEIA is proud to advocate for our members and the PV + storage industry.The future of PV is looking very bright and MnSEIA is looking forward to this new era.”
The bill is expected to be signed by the governor within days.
News article from MnSEIA