2024 Minnesota Legislative Session brings landmark progress to Minnesota’s clean energy transition

May 28, 2024
At the beginning of the 2024 Legislative Session, CEEM had four primary objectives: Advance smart implementation, permitting reform, expand transmission and support increased interconnection. All four of those policy areas saw important progress this session.

MINNEAPOLIS (5/28/24) — Clean Energy Economy MN (CEEM) recognizes substantial legislative progress in service to advancing Minnesota’s clean energy transition and the state’s ability to achieve carbon-free electricity status by 2040. At the beginning of the 2024 Legislative Session, CEEM had four primary objectives: Advance smart implementation, permitting reform, expand transmission and support increased interconnection. All four of those policy areas saw important progress this session.

Significant pieces of clean energy legislation that passed include:

The Minnesota Energy Infrastructure Permitting Act

This bill establishes clear and consistent timelines for each permit review stage, removes delays and duplications, and requires state agencies to coordinate to identify and solve problems early in the process.

NextGen Highways

The NextGen Highways language will accelerate Minnesota’s grid expansion by offering colocation of utility infrastructure along the existing interstate highway right of way.

C-PACE financing program updates

Reforms to update the C-PACE financing program will bring Minnesota in line with national trends while reducing barriers for property owners looking to improve commercial building sustainability through attractive financing and increased flexibility.

Solar*Rewards

The legislature devoted a $5M appropriation to be withheld each calendar year from the Renewable Development Account (RDA) for ten years starting in 2026 to ensure the longevity and stability of the Solar*Rewards program.

SolarAPP+

SolarAPP+ language and a $1.5M appropriation from the RDA were included. SolarAPP+ will help streamline the approval system and issue permits for residential solar energy and storage systems.

Updates to the ECO Act

The Minnesota Energy Conservation and Optimization Act was updated, streamlining its implementation. The language also allows energy consumers to find more ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money.

Geothermal language

Several pieces of legislation support the feasibility of geothermal energy in Minnesota.

Distributed generation

The interconnection bill establishes a cost-sharing model for distribution grid upgrades at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and an interconnection ombudsperson to help with disputes.

On Sunday, May 19, Gregg Mast, Executive Director of Clean Energy Economy MN, issued the following statement regarding the end of session:

The passage of permitting reform this session is essential to Minnesota achieving 100% clean energy by 2040 — and it represents significant progress, building upon the successes of last year’s historic session. Passing the Minnesota Energy Infrastructure Permitting Act, C-PACE financing program updates and Solar*Rewards will enable Minnesota to more seamlessly integrate clean energy into our state, paving the way for a zero-carbon future. We thank all the legislators helping Minnesota transition to a clean energy economy, particularly energy chairs Senator Nick Frentz and Representative Patty Acomb.


CEEM is able to facilitate comments or availability on a specific piece of legislation or issue; please email Peter Ingraham at pingraham@cleanenergyeconomymn.org to make requests. For more information on the current status of energy in Minnesota, read the 2024 Minnesota Energy Factsheet: https://www.cleanenergyeconomymn.org/factsheet.

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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 business across the state. Our mission is to provide educational leadership, collaboration, and policy analysis that accelerates clean energy market growth and smart energy policies.

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