Minnesota State Senator Chris Eaton (DFL-Brooklyn Center) and State Representative Will Morgan (DFL-Burnsville) introduced a bill – the Solar Energy Jobs Act – that would require state utilities to implement a 10 percent Solar Renewable Energy Standard by 2030.
The lawmakers point to 16 other states that have enacted similar solar energy standards.
The representatives said that implementing the policy will result in 80 MW of installed solar capacity in the first year, 1,000 MW (2 percent) by year 2023, and more than 5,300 MW by 2030.
In 2010, according to the US Energy Information Administration, Minnesota spent over $20 billion in total expenditures on energy sources imported from other states and countries. Minnesota has a technical potential of 12,000 MW of installed capacity for rooftop solar alone, according to the proposed bill.
More than 100 businesses already exist throughout Minnesota in the solar industry. Implementing the Solar Energy Jobs Act will create over 2,000 permanent jobs in the first year after the standard is passed, and thousands of jobs over the life of the policy, according to analysis done through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Jobs and Economic Development Impact (JEDI) modeling software.