Minnesota governor vetoes GOP legislature plans to stifle solar

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Source: Flickr/EasyStand

Minnesota governor Mark Dayton vetoed measure SF 1937 on Tuesday, which would have removed solar customer’s ability to have unfair fees reviewed by independent regulators at the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

The bill was one of five omnibus bills that were put forward by the Republican-led House and Senate and promptly vetoed by Dayton. Clean energy advocates had raised concern earlier on in the legislative session that the now vetoed Jobs and Energy Omnibus bill would remove regulatory oversight of many of the state’s key energy programmes – including its successful solar rebate programme, ‘Made in Minnesota’.

It would have also scrapped the state’s development fund that could be used to fund several renewable energy projects. Many of the Republican energy committee chairs have voiced concern at the expense that such incentives were costing Minnesota in proportion to the number of jobs it created.

“We believe that by taking these dollars and repurposing them in a more intelligent fashion it will actually create jobs,” said Pat Garofalo, chairman of the House Job Growth and Energy Affordability and Finance Committee.

However, Dayton was quick to veto the energy bill, among others, reportedly arguing that too much was attempting to be cut from the budget “too quickly”. The decision was welcomed with open arms by Minnesota’s clean energy industry.

“We applaud governor Dayton for vetoing this bill that would have removed critical consumer protection measures for Minnesota residents and eliminated the Made in Minnesota solar manufacturing programme,” said Sean Gallagher, SEIA vice president of state affairs. “Solar energy is a rapidly-growing industry in Minnesota that’s creating local jobs, strengthening the economy, and providing clean, affordable energy.

“Fortunately, the governor has continually recognized the value that solar offers to the state. We urge governor Dayton to veto any bill that includes these anti-consumer measures.  Now’s the time to continue the state’s impressive solar growth, not hold it back.”

Dayton managed to nip a GOP attack on renewables in the bud once again; as in March the governor also vetoed a measure that would have removed PUC oversight of fixed charges brought by electric utilities.

In addition, Dayton is working on raising the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 50% by 2030. Meanwhile, solar has grown 80% in the state in the first quarter of 2017, with the state now harnessing almost half a gigawatt of installed capacity. Nearly 340MW of the current 440MW installed in the state were added in 2016, while solar jobs grew 44% year over year.

Read Next

November 30, 2021
JinkoSolar has slashed its shipments guidance for the year, reducing its top end guidance by more than 5GW as it blamed ongoing logistics issues and port blockages.
November 24, 2021
The US International Trade Commission has recommended that the Section 201 safeguard tariffs on solar cells and modules be extended.
November 22, 2021
The US House of Representatives has passed Joe Biden’s Build Back Better act, which now moves to the Senate where negotiations will continue over the legislation that includes clean energy and climate investments totalling US$555 billion.
November 17, 2021
Prices for solar modules in the US are expected to normalise following last week’s rejection of a petition surrounding alleged anti-circumvention of anti-dumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD).
November 16, 2021
An exemption for bifacial solar panels from Section 201 tariffs in the US has been reinstated after a decision passed down by the US Court of International Trade (CIT).
November 16, 2021
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has appointed US Department of Energy (DOE) veteran Jeremiah Miller as its new director of storage markets and policy

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021
Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal