Building a strong, clean energy economy in Minnesota just makes sense. As polluting, non-renewable sources become more expensive and scarce, we have a great opportunity to take the initiative and lead to make a better, sustainable future. This has been central to our work for years and we have helped Minnesotans achieve a number of important benchmarks.
In 2007, we worked with allies to pass Minnesota’s nation leading Renewable Energy Standard. As a result, 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. In the years following the new law, conservation Minnesota has successfully defeated industry attempts to repeal or weaken the legislation.
During the 2012 session, we helped garner the support necessary to pass the Minnesota State Energy Policy Bill, which resulted in increased renewable energy. Large utilities are now required to get 1.5% of their energy from solar by 2020 with a state goal of reaching 10% by 2030.
Not all of our work is legislative, though. Conservation Minnesota works with state citizens, government regulators, and industry leaders to find collaborative solutions that create jobs while, save money, and promote good business. For instance, we enabled state citizens to contact the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) asking that they recommend the retirement and replacement of Xcel’s coal-burning Sherco 1&2 plants. In total 5,140 people submitted petitions.
On December 6th, 2013, the PUC voted unanimously to recommend that Xcel Energy create a plan to close Coal Burning Plants Sherco 1 & 2 by 2020 as part of their next integrated Resource Plan.