A new concept in renewable energy is catching fire across the country, allowing customers who might find solar panels too expensive or impractical to buy green energy anyway. Community solar gardens first took off in Colorado a few years ago, and the model — also known as community or shared solar — has spread to Minnesota, California, Massachusetts and several other states.
A federal judge has found that a Minnesota law designed to promote the use of renewable energy is unconstitutional and she barred state officials from enforcing it. In a 48-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson said Friday that the Next Generation Energy Act passed in 2007 effectively blocks North Dakota utilities from exporting electricity into the state.
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon is part of a delegation traveling to Germany to meet with experts and policymakers about renewable energy. Prettner Solon and the rest of the group leave for Berlin on Saturday.
Two versions of a bill mandating solar energy for big utilities are heading for a conference committee where compromise legislation should emerge in the final week of Minnesota’s legislative session. The Senate version requires large utility companies to generate 1 percent of power from the sun by 2025.
A lawsuit by Minnesota’s attorney general alleges farmers were duped by a South Dakota-chartered wind energy developer who didn’t deliver on promises of equipment and financing.
Twenty-five Minnesota farmers and rural small businesses are getting almost $300,000 in renewable energy grants.
Sen. Al Franken joined Dave Lee on the WCCO Morning News Wednesday.
Ending current subsidies for the corn ethanol industry would cost jobs and make America more dependent on foreign oil, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday.