2009 Solar Legislation
Legislative Session Provides
Groundbreaking Victory for Solar Energy
Historic collaboration sets stage for energy
PAUL – Groundbreaking legislation passed this session and signed into law will
enable large-scale solar energy investment and keep Minnesota on the forefront
of the nation’s renewable energy movement.
group of city and state leaders joined industry professionals on June 4, 2009 to shed
light on the legislation and its incentives that encourage the expansion
of solar energy development and infrastructure for home, business, and
we stand together for a clean, green and an independent energy future for
Minnesota,” declared Sen. Ellen Anderson, lead author of the energy legislation
that will result in significant solar investments throughout the state.
Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak joined Sen. Anderson
in the announcement. Both cities worked collaboratively with state policymakers,
utilities, energy and environmental advocacy groups, labor unions, and solar
installers to craft this comprehensive package of legislation.
goes beyond creating renewable energy options for residents and energy
independence for our economy,” Mayor Coleman said. “This legislation represents
the green economy we want, creating jobs for our residents and opportunities for
businesses to grow as the industry develops.”
need to build a new economy based on clean energy technology, because the
economy of the past – whether we like it or not – is over,” Mayor Rybak said.
“The old ways of doing business have literally run out of gas. Not only will an
urgent focus on clean energy jobs, like solar power, rebuild and reinvent our
economy, it will begin to undo the damage we have caused to our planet.”
legislation provides rebates for residents and small business owners and grants
for schools and public buildings for the installation of solar panels that can
help homeowners and building managers control energy costs. In addition, the
legislation provides funding for solar job training and innovative large scale
projects to usher in a new solar marketplace.
a leader in the development in wind energy investment thanks to legislation in
1994, the cooperative legislative effort this past session has set the stage in
Minnesota for a similar solar energy transformation.
idea is to make a short-term, coordinated investment in solar technologies, so
that we can transform the market for solar in Minnesota and allow it to stand on
its own in the long-term,” said Bill Glahn, director of the Office of Energy Security and Deputy Commissioner of Commerce.
legislation passed this year is going to jump start solar markets in Minnesota,
and we’re glad to be part of that action,” said Dave Sparby, president and CEO
of Northern States Power Co. Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company. “The new laws
will position us to support our customers' interest in this renewable energy
source and take advantage of declining costs as this industry grows and
the local level, Minneapolis and Saint Paul are leading on solar initiatives. In
2008 they were designated Solar America Cities by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Early accomplishments in addition to these state policy gains include
installation of two solar charging systems for plug-in hybrid cars for the
car-sharing HourCar program and a solar training laboratory at Saint Paul