Governor Walz declares March 9 as 'Clean Energy Business Day'
Minnesota's clean energy businesses are critical in getting the state to 100% by 2040
ST. PAUL, MINN. – As Minnesota and the country declare their intentions for a clean energy future, Governor Tim Walz highlighted the significance of Minnesota's clean energy business community and its many contributions to the state's economy. Today, he delivered a proclamation that declares March 9, 2023 as Clean Energy Business Day in the state of Minnesota.
The proclamation coincides with the seventh annual Clean Energy Business Day at the Capitol – an education and advocacy day for individuals and organizations working in the state's energy efficiency and clean energy industry. Governor Walz has been a vocal clean energy champion, most recently signing into law the 100% clean energy by 2040 bill and creating the state's Climate Action Framework.
"Minnesota's energy efficiency and clean energy businesses are innovating and delivering clean, reliable, and affordable solutions while reducing emissions and diversifying and strengthening the state's economy, helping the state achieve its 100% clean energy goals," reads the Governor's proclamation.
"The State of Minnesota is at a crucial point today with tremendous opportunities to invest in clean energy," said Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold. "Businesses are seeing needs across the state and the potential to address those needs, grow jobs, address challenges related to climate change, and sell clean energy technology to the world."
"This is a momentous time for Minnesota's energy efficiency and clean energy industry. Their work is critical in helping the state transition to a clean energy economy and achieve the ambitious goals being set at the legislature," said Gregg Mast, Clean Energy Economy MN Executive Director. "Minnesota's clean energy transition is growing good jobs, strengthening our economy and providing affordable, reliable, homegrown energy."
"The last few years have brought historic growth and change to the solar + storage industry. Minnesota is installing more solar than ever across the state. Our industry employs over 5,000 Minnesotans with local, family-sustaining jobs and our members are always hiring! Federal investments and strong state policy are expanding the industry even more, signaling that Minnesota is a strong market to start and grow solar + storage businesses," said Logan O'Grady, the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA)'s Executive Director. "MnSEIA has an ambitious industry-wide legislative agenda to move solar + storage forward and set the stage for future success. Our work across the industry will ensure that all types of businesses can be involved in the market and that more Minnesotans can access clean energy. We're thankful for our members, partners, and bipartisan lawmakers who are working to make strong progress this Session!"
"Wind and solar development have been a booming business for Minnesota over the past decade, putting thousands of Minnesotans to work in great-paying jobs and generating millions in local tax revenues," said Beth Soholt, Clean Grid Alliance (CGA) Executive Director. "With the recent passage of the 100% Carbon-Free Energy by 2040 Standard, Minnesota must shift its focus to implementing this policy. That includes reforming the permitting process for renewables, which CGA is already tackling head-on. Part of Minnesota's clean energy vision also requires focus on the grid. New high voltage transmission lines, upgrades to the distribution system, and storage will all play an important role in our ability to deliver our clean, low-cost, and reliable renewable energy."
"Minnesota stands on the threshold of an incredible opportunity," said Chris Duffrin, President of Center for Energy and Environment. "With competitive access to unprecedented federal funds through IRA and IIJA, our state can open new doors for energy efficiency projects to help slash carbon emissions and reduce Minnesotans' energy bills. Importantly, this expanded work will demand an expanded workforce. Statewide, this means more well-paying clean energy jobs and a critical increase in workforce training that taps into historically marginalized communities. If we keep laying the right groundwork, Minnesota will see multiple payoffs in lower energy bills, a more resilient energy grid, and jobs that put money in Minnesota pockets while cutting carbon from our natural environment."
"The historic levels of funding from the Inflation Reduction Act and the bipartisan infrastructure law give us the tools we need to invest in a clean energy future. Now it's up to Minnesota to capitalize on this opportunity and leverage competitive grant programs and other funding sources to maximize impact and decarbonize the built environment," said Sheri Brezinka, U.S. Green Building Council Regional Director. "Third-party certifications like LEED, LEED Zero and other green building programs are complementary to the goals of these programs and can help us reach 100% by 2040 clean energy goals inscribed in SF 4."
About Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM): CEEM is an industry-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit representing the business case for clean energy in Minnesota. CEEM provides a unified voice for clean energy business across the state. Our mission is to provide educational leadership, collaboration, and policy analysis that accelerates clean energy market growth and smart energy policies. Learn more at cleanenergyeconomymn.org.
About Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA): MnSEIA is a 501(c)(6) trade association that serves to move Minnesota solar forward as the voice of the Minnesota solar industry. Representing over one hundred-member companies, MnSEIA pursues its mission to grow solar energy industries as part of Minnesota's clean energy transition by delivering strong public policy, education, job creation and sustainable industry development. This is done through active engagements at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the Minnesota Legislature, and in various agency matters. Find out more at www.mnseia.org.
About Clean Grid Alliance (CGA): Clean Grid Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., that works to advance renewable energy in the Midwest. Its members are comprised of wind and solar developers, environmental organizations, tribal representatives, public interest groups, clean energy advocates, farm groups and businesses providing goods and services to the wind and solar industries. Learn more at cleangridalliance.org.
About Center for Energy and the Environment (CEE): Center for Energy and Environment is a clean energy nonprofit with special expertise in energy efficiency that stretches back nearly 40 years. CEE provides a range of practical and cost-effective energy solutions for homes, businesses, and communities to strengthen the economy while improving the environment. Learn more at mncee.org
About U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC): USGBC is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, an international network of local community leaders, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. Learn more at usgbc.org.