Siting Reforms will Streamline the Permitting Process and make Minnesota More Competitive
ST. PAUL, MINN (Feb. 3, 2023) - Clean Grid Alliance (CGA) celebrates the passage of SF 4/HF 7, which was passed in the Minnesota Senate last night. Known as the 100% Clean Energy Bill, this legislation raises Minnesota's Renewable Energy Standard (RES) to 55% by 2035 and creates a new 100% Carbon Free Standard that would require all of Minnesota's utilities to produce carbon-free electricity by 2040. It also provides the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) with the tools needed to achieve the RES and Carbon Free Standards.
CGA contributed several essential provisions to the legislation designed to streamline the permitting process for renewables and maintain the feasibility of rigorous clean energy deployment. Specifically, the bill:
- Eliminates the Certificate of Need (CN) Requirement for Independent Power Producer (IPP) wind and solar projects to better reflect Minnesota's changing energy landscape;
- Reforms and streamlines the permitting process by changing certain requirements for low voltage transmission lines; and
- Improves the environmental review process by removing unnecessary red tape.
"We are excited that this bill sets a 100% carbon-free standard while including provisions to help us get there," said CGA Executive Director Beth Soholt. "It's not enough to set goals. Good policy also enables the implementation of those goals. That's why we advocated so hard for this bill to incorporate essential siting reforms for utility-scale solar and wind projects. The state has established carbon reduction goals and the best way to get there is through the development of more clean, affordable, reliable electricity. This new streamlined siting process makes Minnesota more competitive with other states and sets a precedent for efficient permitting that will spur our energy transition," said Soholt.
Soholt added, "The CGA state policy team has worked hard for several years to craft and pass the needed regulatory reform to assist with implementing the increased Renewable Energy Standard and Carbon Free Standard, and I applaud their success."
CGA looks forward to seeing Governor Walz sign this legislation into law.
Clean Grid Alliance (CGA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., whose mission is to advance renewable energy in the Midwest. Launched in 2001, CGA has been an active stakeholder in the MISO process at the state and regional levels and a leading organization working on transforming state energy policy. CGA's membership includes industry representatives working in wind, solar and storage as well as environmental nonprofit organizations, public interest groups, clean energy advocates, farm groups, and businesses providing goods and services to the renewable energy industry who come together to reduce carbon and deliver a renewable energy future. Learn more at cleangridalliance.org.