Tensions increase at the Minnesota Legislature

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Logan O'Grady Legislative Update

Last week, the legislature came back from a week-long spring recess. Upon returning to the Capitol lawmakers have just six weeks to finish all major bills before they are constitutionally mandated to adjourn in May.

This week, April 20, is the third committee deadline, the day all major spending bills should have been heard in their respective committees. We expect to see both the Senate and House energy omnibus bills early next week.

What we’re working on:

Defending the Solar Energy Standard -- H.F. 3003 was amended to exempt Minnesota Power and Ottertail Power from the requirements of the Solar Energy Standard. Additionally, the bill removes the 10% statewide solar energy standard altogether. This bill received a favorable hearing in the House energy committee on Friday. CEEM worked with our partner organizations to testify against this bill. Find our letter here.

Defending the Conservation Improvement Program -- H.F. 3794/S.F. 3872 changes the large customer facility exemption under Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) to further limit the number of utility customers subject to CIP’s requirements. CEEM is working collaboratively with other stakeholders to educate lawmakers about the negative impacts of this bill. 

Looking ahead:

Energy Storage -- CEEM has been working closely with the Energy Storage Association and MnSEIA on implementing a positive energy storage policy that: (1) Examines the market opportunities and benefits of energy storage in Minnesota; (2) Requires public utilities to include energy storage in their integrated resource planning processes; and (3) Incentivizes public utilities to develop energy storage pilot projects through rate-basing the costs of these projects. We anticipate this bill to be included in this year’s final energy omnibus bills.