Report: MN's Clean-Energy Transition Gains Stronger Foothold
Wednesday, April 26, 2023
For a third year in a row, zero-carbon sources accounted for the majority of electricity generated in Minnesota, according to the latest edition of an annual report measuring the state's clean-energy transition.
The findings are issued by the group Clean Energy Economy Minnesota, which said the industry shift toward these sources is now "locked in" around the state. It showed in 2022, 55% of the state's power came from carbon-free sources, well above the national share of 41%.
Tena Monson, senior director of development operations for National Grid Renewables, which develops projects for corporations and utilities, said Minnesota is a favorable place for business within this sector.
"It has really great, top-notch policies that support renewable-energy development," Monson asserted. "That makes it a really good policy leader to help with the transition into the clean-energy economy."
The report found the sector continues to deal with some turbulence, including supply-chain
disruptions, tariffs and workforce issues. And Monson and other experts noted local permitting issues have popped up in Minnesota and elsewhere in the U.S. They suggest uniform policies being adopted in other states could help address the matter in Minnesota.
Eric Pasi, senior director of market development for New Equity Energy, said another promising sign is the growing emergence of large-scale solar projects.
"We do quite a bit of work with Fortune 500 companies and large commercial real estate clients," Pasi explained. "And are seeing a big trend toward adoption and specifically like portfolio-wide, as opposed to a single, one-off or demonstration projects that had been more common in years past."
He and other experts pointed to Flint Hills Resources building a 45-megawatt solar installation, which will include at least 100,000 panels connected directly to refinery operations. Meanwhile, Clean Energy Economy Minnesota's report also pointed out power sector emissions in Minnesota declined by 7%, and the state's energy productivity, which tracks efficiency in usage, increased to 31%.
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