Minnesota Inks Solar Boosting Law

GovMinnesota Gov. Mark Dayton last week signed into law a bill aimed at increasing the state’s use of solar power.

The Solar Energy Jobs Act, which formed part of a larger economic development bill, requires investor-owned utilities to source at least 1.5 percent of their energy from solar by 2020, reports Solar Industry Magazine.

The bill that was finally signed into law was a compromise between a Senate bill that required utilities to source 1 percent of their power from solar by 2025 and a House bil that called for 4 percent of utility energy to come from solar by 2025, the magazine reports.

Among rules in the new law is one which states that utilities must source a tenth of the 1.5 percent from solar from photovoltaic arrays rated under 20 kW or less. This provision is designed to prompt utilities to encourage homeowners to install solar arrays on their property. Utilities are also required to spend $5 million a year for the next five years to fund incentives for retail solar installations, the magazine reports.

Earlier this month a Bill landed on Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’ desk that would increase the renewable portfolio standard requirement on the state’s large rural electric cooperatives. SB 252 would require the rural utilities to procure 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020 – a boost from the current 10 percent by 2020 requirement co-ops must meet. The current RPS mandate has been in affect since 2010. Rural co-ops with 100,000 meters or more would have to comply.

Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy also announced earlier this month that it has gone live with an online database of energy-related legislation pending in all 50 states.

The Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker, which was created in partnership with Advanced Energy Economy, is available to the general public.

Currently, state legislatures are considering more than 2,100 bills that could change the way Americans produce, buy and use energy, according to AEE. The AEL Tracker identifies all those measures and monitors the progress of energy bills as they move forward.

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