Clean Energy Business Day at the Capitol

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Clean Energy Economy Minnesota has successfully wrapped up our second annual Clean Energy Business Day at the Capitol. This year we partnered with Wind on the Wires (WoW), Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Clean Energy Business Day is an important opportunity for those involved in clean energy and energy efficiency to share their business stories and experiences with policymakers. These conversations help educate lawmakers about why smart clean energy policies can help benefit all Minnesotans.

We kicked off the day in the Capitol Rotunda and welcomed Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Shawntera Hardy to the podium to give a speech, and present the Governor’s proclamation, declaring March 22 (the day of our event), Clean Energy Business Day.

In a press release we sent to reporters across the state, Governor Dayton is quoted saying:

“Clean energy businesses employ 57,351 Minnesotans, as of 2016, with wages 42 percent higher than the statewide average,” reads Governor Dayton's proclamation “Minnesota’s nation-leading clean energy policies have established a unique competitive advantage for innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, and businesses to deliver value-added products and services growing Minnesota’s clean energy markets.”

Following the speeches in the Capitol Rotunda, our Clean Energy Business Day attendees made their way upstairs for a deeper discussion on issues and to receive their meeting assignments with legislators.

During this time CEEM was excited to unveil the new Names Behind the Numbers | Minnesota series, a campaign to highlight different types of clean energy jobs across the state.

The Clean Energy Business Day partners were pleased to welcome a bipartisan contingent of legislators to speak with our attendees. Senate Energy Committee Chair David Osmek spent some time with the group talking about priorities, and an area of particular interest to him, energy storage.

House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman also made an appearance and spent some time with attendees. She spoke about some areas of possible bipartisan agreement on energy issues, but also spoke fiercely about her desire to see the Renewable Energy Standard raised.

We are pleased to announce attendance was up this year compared to last year. Giving legislators the opportunity to hear about the clean energy industry straight from business owners and folks who work in the industry is vital.

After the work at the legislature was through, we had a great showing at Pazzaluna for networking and happy hour.

We want to offer a whole hearted THANK YOU to all of our partners, and the many clean energy businesses who took the time to show up at the capitol and spend time with us. Collectively, our voices are helping to move this industry forward.