Minnesota legislature passes $80 million omnibus renewable energy bill


Update 5/24/23. Governor Tim Waltz signed the bill into law.

The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) celebrated the Minnesota Legislature’s passage of a historic $80 million investment in solar and energy conservation incentive programs. Clean energy received an unprecedented surge of interest, support and progress this legislative session. MnSEIA is excited to see that the Omnibus Environment, Natural Resources, Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Bill (HF 2310) includes budget articles:

  • $29.3 million in funding for the popular Solar for Schools program, which saves school districts and local property taxpayers thousands of dollars each year;
  • $7 million for Minnesota’s first energy storage incentive program for on-site energy storage systems;
  • $5 million for the Solar Public Buildings Program to increase solar access to a wider range of Minnesota communities;
  • $4.2 million to the National Sports Center in Blaine to add solar power and save thousands of people on their monthly energy bills;
  • $12.5 million in funding for Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards program;
  • $3.4 million for the Microgrid Research Center at the University of St. Thomas;
  • $10.2 million for distributed energy upgrade grants to improve interconnection schedules;
  • $5.3 million for electrical grid resiliency grants;
  • $3 million to MnSEIA member Clean Energy Economy MN (CEEM) for their Energy Alley Initiative;
  • $250,000 for an energy storage system capacity study that estimates the amount of energy storage needed to meet the state’s new 100% carbon standard;
  • $420,000 for a multi-agency study and report on the development of a statewide solar panel reuse and recycling system.

The bill also makes a number of important policy changes, including:

  • Updates on the Community Solar Garden Program which will expand the existing market and create new opportunities through the legacy program;
  • A distributed generation (DG) standard that requires all investor-owned utilities to meet a certain percentage of their energy purchases by 2030 (1 to 3%, depending on the utility). network;
  • The Consumer Bill of Rights legislation, which places some restrictions on homeowner associations trying to restrict solar energy and allows utility customers to request data on their energy use from utilities and locations. This will give 4th Minnesotans living in an HOA the freedom to go solar.

Other energy-related items in the bill include funding for workforce training, electric vehicle rebates, a State Competitiveness Fund designed to match federal grants for renewable energy projects, and more.

“This is a new era of solar and energy conservation in Minnesota,” said MnSEIA Executive Director Logan O’Grady. “The policies created in this legislative session will create a historic clean energy boom in our country. This is a huge signal to the country that Minnesota is serious about solar energy and that we are a great market in which to do business. Lawmakers just created hundreds of family-supporting jobs and exciting opportunities for small businesses. This is truly a monumental legislative session and MnSEIA is proud to have stood up for our members and the solar + storage industry. The future of solar energy just got a lot brighter, and MnSEIA looks forward to ushering in this new era.”

It is expected that the governor will sign the bill in the coming days.

News from MnSEIA

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