Wind turbines in a Minnesota field

Support for Permitting Reform

To reach the historic goals set last year in the 100% Clean Energy bill, we must expedite the permitting processes for wind and solar projects and new transmission lines. Updating our laws to achieve our 100% goal is a key priority for us this session. Earlier this week, we signed onto this support letter along with many of our partners.


April 8, 2024
Minnesota State Capitol—Senate Chamber
75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard
St Paul, MN 55155

Dear President Champion and Minnesota Senators:

The undersigned represent a broad coalition of utilities, businesses, environmental groups, labor organizations, and others urging the Minnesota Senate to pass SF 4784. This legislation is a comprehensive package of reforms that was developed by participants that served on the PUC permitting reform stakeholder process.

We would like to emphasize key provisions of SF 4784 that would reform and streamline Minnesota’s energy permitting process. Key reforms in the bill include:

  • Allow designated Public Utilities Commission (PUC) staff to determine when a permit application is complete rather than requiring an order from the commissioners, saving applicants up to 60 days;
  • Shift Energy Environmental Review and Analysis (EERA) staff, whose work is currently being outsourced to the Dept. of Commerce, to the appropriate responsible government unit: the PUC;
  • Exempt all wind and solar projects from Certificate of Need Requirements, emphasizing that all new wind and solar will be constructed to meet the Renewable Energy and Carbon-Free standards; and
  • Move permitting for wind, solar, and storage under one clear-cut standard review process, demonstrating that renewables are the future of our grid and should no longer be considered “alternative” sources of energy. This is a green light for developers to bring new business to the state and facilitates easier public understanding.

These reforms will be essential to the efficient permitting of both the transmission and generation that will be needed to reach Minnesota’s 100% carbon free standard. The collaboration of the permitting reform stakeholder group that generated these ideas was an unprecedented and cross-cutting effort worthy of legislative follow-through; we respectfully ask that the Minnesota Senate pass SF 4784, demonstrating your support for ongoing clean energy development across the state.


Peder Mewis, Regional Policy Director
Clean Grid Alliance

Erika Kowall, Central States Director
American Clean Power Association