I’m not yet ready to entirely buy that renewables have so much momentum, these days, that nothing that “President” Trump, and his witless acolytes in places like the Minnesota legislature, can do would really slow them down. I think wrongheaded people in power can still manage a lot of harm. That being said:
At a press conference Friday morning, department officials said the program shows how much solar energy has expanded in recent years. In fact, new data showed Minnesota added 203 megawatts of solar electric capacity in the first quarter of 2017 compared to 207 in all of last year.
“Solar jobs in Minnesota increased 44 percent in 2016, with nearly 4,000 Minnesotans now employed in the industry. Solar presents our state with a tremendous opportunity for growth, clean energy, sustainable energy and a lot of future jobs for our children and the generations to come,” Commissioner Mike Rothman said.
Following a two-year study on how to transform utility regulation in Minnesota, clean energy groups are now closely involved with pilot projects that begin to implement some of those changes envisioned.
This month the Great Plains Institute and Center for Energy and Environment will oversee a group studying an Xcel Energy proposal that tests the concept of charging customers based on when they use energy under a time-of-use rate pilot.
The two groups also led the two-year effort known as the “e21 Initiative” that enlisted more than three dozen representatives of various energy-related organizations to imagine new ways to compensate utilities in a rapidly changing landscape.
(Midwest Energy News)