Electricity Policy

Tue03282017

Last updateThu, 16 Mar 2017 7pm

ISSN 2331-1223  Twitter

Minn. House kills state solar incentive; approves Xcel Energy gas-fired plant

gov_mark_dayton

The Minnesota House of Representatives last week voted 76-49 to kill a state program aimed at boosting solar power, with a $15 million annual budget. The program, established in 2013 and called the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program, provided grants to homeowners and business that install solar generating equipment, as long as the parts and panels were made in the state. Republicans, who control both the House and Senate, argued, according to the local CBS outlet, that the program cost too much for the number of jobs it creates. The head of the state’s solar energy trade group said, “This program brought companies, and then companies brought jobs and the jobs fed families.” The bill now moves to the state Senate, which is divided 34-33 in favor of Republicans. The governor is Mark Dayton, a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, which affiliates with the national Democrats. At the same time it was killing the solar program, the House approved a bill giving the local electric utility, Xcel Energy, a green light on building a new gas-fired power plant, once the company closes its coal plants on the site.  February 16, 2017

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