CEEM celebrates significant clean energy progress in 2021 Legislative Session
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN – The 2021 omnibus commerce and energy bill has been signed by Governor Walz, making its provisions the law of the land. Despite an extremely abnormal and difficult year, significant clean energy progress was made in Minnesota. At the beginning of the January session, CEEM identified the following as key policy priorities:
- Passage of the Energy Conservation and Optimization (ECO) Act
- Modernizing existing solar programs and accelerating the growth of Minnesota’s solar industry
- Supporting use of enhanced building performance standards to unlock clean energy markets and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota’s built environment.
CEEM is pleased to announce two of its key priorities were accomplished this session. CEEM Executive Director Gregg Mast released the following statement:
“Clean Energy Economy MN began this session by prioritizing passage of the ECO Act and modernizing existing solar policies - including adding $10 million in funding to the Solar*Rewards program. I’m proud we were able to accomplish both, alongside a broad coalition of our member businesses, fellow nonprofit partners and legislators representing both sides of the aisle. While we fell short in passing other important provisions such as enhanced building performance standards, we made measurable progress and look forward to our continued work with policymakers ahead of the next legislative session,” said Gregg Mast.
Mast also notes he was pleased that the Clean Cars MN rulemaking process will continue to proceed forward providing consumers with more choices and increasing access to low- and zero-emission vehicles. Other highlights included in the final omnibus commerce and energy bill include:
- Minnesota Efficient Technology Accelerator | $12 million over the next 2 years to fund an effort to partner with manufacturers to accelerate the adoption of energy efficient technologies in Minnesota
- Solar on Schools | $16 million in project funding ($8 million from the RDA fund)
- Solar on community colleges | $4.76 million in project funding
- Minneapolis clean energy workforce training center | $2.5 million to establish a training center in North Minneapolis
- State building energy conservation improvement revolving loan account | Establishes an account for the Minnesota Department of Administration to provide funding for improvements to state-owned buildings
- Energy Transition Office | Establishes an office in the Department of Employment and Economic Development to help communities impacted by the retirement of legacy electricity generation
About Clean Energy Economy MN (CEEM): CEEM is an industry-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit representing the business case for clean energy in Minnesota. CEEM provides a unified voice for clean energy businesses across the state. Our mission is to provide educational leadership, collaboration, and policy analysis that accelerates clean energy market growth and smart energy policies.