Minnesota is home to what will be the single largest solar facility in the Midwest. Source: State symbol USA
Minnesota is pushing for an even more aggressive renewable portfolio standard (RPS) with the Dayton administration proposing 50% renewables integration by 2030.
The current standard, enacted 10 years ago, has set a goal of 25% by 2025. However, the Gopher State has been blazing through that goal, with currently 21% of the state’s energy mix coming from wind and solar.
Minnesota is home to what will be the single largest solar facility in the Midwest, once the 140MW North Star project is completed. In addition, Xcel Energy is implementing a new Resource Plan that will see the utility procure 1.4GW of solar generation over the next 15 years. Minnesota is also a leading state in community solar, recently bringing 32MW online.
Democratic governor Tina Smith said that the proposed ‘50 by ’30’ standard would build on that success, during the proposal announcement at Riverland Community College in Albert Lea. She said it would improve air quality, continue driving down the cost of renewable energy and generate thousands of new clean energy jobs.
According to Dayton administration officials, clean energy jobs grew by 78% in Minnesota between 2000 and 2014 compared to 11% overall. Their analysis shows the industry supports more than 15,000 jobs and creates US$1 billion in economic activity.