Thousands of Minnesotans have told us that one of the great challenges we face is transitioning from the pollution and health risks of our current energy and transportation systems to a clean energy future. Conservation Minnesota is working hard to ensure that each person in our state has dependable clean energy and convenient transportation systems that add to our quality of life while protecting our environment.
Conservation Minnesota was instrumental in passing our state’s nation-leading Renewable Energy Standard in 2007. Today, all of Minnesota’s utilities are on track to meet the state’s goal of getting 25% of our electricity from clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2025. Our government affairs team has worked effectively with partners to block the repeal of this important law.
In 2013, Xcel energy’s coal burning plants, Sherco 1 & 2, came under review by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), who had to decide whether or not to phase out and replace the plants with clean energy. Conservation Minnesota helped thousands of state citizens write to the PUC asking that these plants be replaced by dependable renewable energy. In December 2013, the PUC took the first step by unanimously requiring Xcel Energy to create a plan to close Sherco 1 & 2 as part of their next integrated Resource Plan. Xcel’s final plan released in 2015 included plans to transition Sherco 1 & 2 to natural gas. The retirement also calls for 200 megawatts of renewable energy, including a new 50 megawatt solar installation at the site of the Sherco plant in Becker.
Conservation Minnesota recently surveyed nearly 100,000 Minnesota residents asking if they support actions related to energy use and conservation. The survey earned response rates as high as 7 times that of a typical direct mail survey, showing residents have a high level of interest in the topic. Respondents used the survey to signal strong support for past actions and future steps towards healthy, renewable energy. Learn more about the Conservation Minnesota Energy Survey Campaign.
With our partners and members, we are working to build support for renewable energy and the Minnesota jobs it provides, while also helping people understand the health impacts of childhood asthma and lung disease associated with burning imported coal. Together, we can build a better, sustainable Minnesota for future generations.