Smart Implementation

Implementing new policies and programs

Clean energy policies had a monumental year in Minnesota in 2023. By the first week of February 2023, a 100% Clean Energy by 2040 standard was signed into law by Governor Tim Walz. This was followed by the biggest investment in the clean energy transition in the history of our state with the passage of the historic energy and climate omnibus bill that invested hundreds of millions into the clean energy transition.

Passing these policies was the first step and now the execution of these policies and programs is underway, CEEM is actively engaging and helping to shape their implementation. CEEM is doing this through engaging with stakeholder meetings where applicable, filling comments with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), and engaging in work on statutory language clarification.


2023 Legislative Session Recap

July 25, 2023

On May 22, the Minnesota Legislature adjourned a historic legislative session that included a massive bonding bill, increased education funding as well as a never before seen level of new funding for energy investments and programs.

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Air conditioner units (HVAC) on a roof of industrial building with blue sky and clouds in the background.
worker on power grid

Permitting Reform

Permitting Reform

The last two years have been historic and monumental for putting the clean energy policies in place to ensure a fast and just transition to clean energy. At the federal level, Congress put in place the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act. At the state level a historic investment across widespread clean energy and decarbonization policies and programs were passed. Given this immense progress, now is the time to remove the remaining barriers to transitioning Minnesota to a clean energy economy.

Minnesota’s permitting process is in need of updating to rise to this challenge. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) created a working group in late 2023, which CEEM and some business members participated in, to generate ideas to streamline the permitting process without cutting out key and necessary engagement with the public. The report and recommendations from that group will serve as the foundation for a bill this session focused on transmission and utility-scale permitting law changes.

CEEM will also be engaged in other efforts to make it easier for businesses in the clean energy economy to do business in Minnesota.

CEEM in the News

Permitting: The 'Elephant in the Room' in Advancing Clean Energy

July 24, 2023

Amelia Cerling Hennes, managing director of the group Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, said the nation’s current grid system is old, and was not designed for the newer approach to powering up cars, homes and businesses.

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wind turbines in minnesota

Expanding Transmission

Expanding Transmission Infrastructure in Minnesota

Upgrading and expanding transmission infrastructure will enable the delivery of more clean, affordable, and reliable energy across a larger footprint. With more pathways for energy to travel, there will be less congestion on the grid and more ability to build out generation to meet growing demand. Strengthening the grid will enable regions to import and export power if needed during extreme weather, helping to keep the lights on and people safe.

Our current high-voltage transmission system is running on borrowed time with the majority of it being constructed in the 1950s and 1960s. The patchwork updates through the years have barely kept up with the changing needs of our grid and power generation. With the push towards renewable and distributed energy along with increased demand from industries like manufacturing and data centers, we simply need more and smarter transmission lines.

This session, CEEM is part of a state-level coalition with NextGen Highways led by Great Plains Institute to advocate for the use of public right of ways (ROWs) to expand transmission development. Investing in new transmission infrastructure today – including the expanded use of grid-enhancing technologies across the system – will help keep energy costs down, create jobs and local economic benefits, ensure reliable electricity service, and improve energy security and independence.

CEEM in the News

What Minnesota needs to transition to a clean energy economy

May 4, 2023

Wind and solar power deliver a huge economic boost for local economies. These projects create jobs, both during construction and the long-term operation and maintenance of the facilities.

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Addressing interconnection delays and barriers

Interconnection delays and costs have become one of the largest remaining barriers to getting more distributed energy on the grid. This has become a point of frustration to developers, customers, and even utilities frustrated by bad headlines when these stories reach the public.

This session CEEM plans to engage in the discussion around how best to alleviate our current interconnection headache while building new processes that work in a more fair and equitable way to get distributed energy projects connected to the grid.

Press Releases

New data shows Minnesota’s clean energy transition is locked in

April 26, 2023

Minnesota has once again proven itself a leader in the clean energy transition, with a new report showing that zero-carbon power generated a staggering 55% of the state’s electricity in 2022. This marks the third consecutive year that zero-carbon power has remained the majority of Minnesota’s electricity, surpassing the national share by an impressive 14%.

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Battery storage
electric vehicle charging

Learn more about our policy work

minnesota capitol

We work between the aisle with policymakers to advance energy efficiency and clean energy innovation that diversifies and strengthens Minnesota’s economy.

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power lines in minnesota

CEEM works with Minnesota and Midwest regulatory bodies to ensure that clean energy policy is enacted in the best way for our member businesses and all Minnesotans.

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CEEM has leveraged its business voice to deliver policy that opened up millions in financing for clean energy projects across the state.

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