2018 Annual Report - State Policy

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2018 Annual Report - State Policy

CGA builds relationships and collaborative solutions to advance renewables development

Through state policy efforts, Clean Grid Alliance works to create a clean energy marketplace and drive demand for renewables.

In 2017 and 2018, CGA developed a proactive agenda yet played defense in North Dakota, Minnesota and Indiana. Organized labor, night lighting, setbacks, and military issues all emerged as hot topics.

Highlights:

  • In Minnesota, we worked on organized labor issues and night lighting. We found common ground during the 2018 legislative session with organized labor on basic reporting requirements for wind and solar projects. In December, the issue came up again at the Public Utilities Commission.  We actively engaged in discussions around this important matter. We successfully defeated an initiative to require aircraft detection lighting systems for all future and current wind projects in Minnesota. In addition, we successfully helped the Freeborn County Wind Project receive all necessary state permits to move forward.
  • ND_WIND_Logo_4CIn North Dakota, we successfully defeated the North Dakota Game & Fish department’s process to implement unreasonable wildlife mitigation guidelines when siting large wind energy facilities. This was a collaboration between WIND, agriculture groups, and utilities. We also established and facilitated the branding for the now successful ND WIND CoalitionRead more
  • We persuaded the Indiana House Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Committee to not vote on a bill that established onerous statewide setback distances for wind turbines as the default for all counties, and established new ethics rules for county employees whose relatives receive payments from a wind developer. We convinced the House Local Government Committee to not hear a bill that would revise the conflict of interest standard for county commissioners. Military concerns with wind development also came up. The Indiana Department of Defense Development expressed concerns to us on behalf of active military bases using Indiana airspace regarding coordination with wind developers in the state.  The state was considering legislation as a possible solution to their concerns.  CGA and AWEA coordinated a meeting with representatives of the state and military and were able to agree to hold a series of meetings to discuss concerns and work toward collaborative solutions outside of a legislative process.  
  • In Illinois, CGA staff spoke on a policy session panel at the Illinois Commerce Commission regarding legal and policy issues impacting the expansion of wind energy in Illinois.