The top 3 clean energy headlines at the Capitol (so far)

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February Legislative Update

The 2020 legislative session is officially underway! The early weeks continue to be a busy time for clean energy discussions in St. Paul. Here are three trends to watch as we head toward the end of February.

Republican Senate hears “Clean Energy First Act”

Clean Energy First legislation is moving forward in the Minnesota Senate. Senate Republicans continue to have conversations about their vision for an increasingly decarbonized electricity sector.

Concerns have been raised about potential impacts on large power users in internationally competitive industries like mining and paper mills. Discussion also continues around how the bill helps transition communities and laborers in plants slated for retirement.

CEEM continues to monitor this bill and how it would affect clean energy businesses across the state. 

House Democrats take climate action

Earlier this week the Minnesota House Climate Action Caucus unveiled a $191.5 million proposal to tackle the state’s climate crisis. They proposed significant spending to advance energy efficiency measures, solar, electric vehicles, emerald ash borer disposal and more.

The House held a hearing on Thursday, February 20 on the proposed package of bills, lead by Rep. Patty Acomb. CEEM was there to testify in support of the bill. Member companies iDEAL Energies and IPS Solar were also there lending their support for the proposal.

The bills in the spending proposal will be split and be heard across House committees. Stay tuned for more updates.

Perspectives on community solar gardens

The community solar garden conversation is heating up in St. Paul. Community solar advocates are trying to improve our nation-leading program to add certainty around the program for businesses. Currently there are 635 megawatts of community solar across Minnesota.

The House has scheduled a hearing for the bill for Tuesday, February 25. No hearing has been set yet in the Senate. 

These discussions are critical and a great opportunity to represent the experience and capabilities of the clean energy economy.