Minnesota proposals would boost solar generation mandate

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The Minnesota House of Representatives on Tuesday approved legislation that would raise the state's solar energy generation mandate. The state's Senate is expected to vote today on its own version of the proposal.

The House cast a 70-63 vote in favor of HF 956, which would mandate the state's largest utilities to obtain 4 percent of their generation from solar power by 2025. The Senate version aims for a less ambitious goal of 1 percent solar generation by 2025. A vote on that bill, SF 901, is expected later today.

Xcel Energy serves more than 1.2 million electric customers in Minnesota. An Xcel spokesperson told FierceEnergy that while the utility supports the development of new energy resources, it believes the proposed mandates are unbalanced.

"The House and Senate bills would add significant, unnecessary costs for our customers at a time when the state's economy is struggling. We think there's a better way to advance solar power in Minnesota while protecting our customers from these price increases, and we continue to work with legislators and other stakeholders to achieve that goal," Xcel Energy spokesperson Mary Sandok told FierceEnergy.

Minnesota's current renewable portfolio standard is 30 percent by 2020 for Xcel Energy and 25 percent for all other utilities, according to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

For more:
-see the Senate bill
-see the House bill

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