State lawmakers in Minnesota have unveiled the Solar Energy Jobs Act, which would implement a 10% solar renewable energy standard that the state's utilities would be required to meet by 2030.
The measure is sponsored by State Senator Chris Eaton, DFL-Brooklyn Center, and State Representative Will Morgan, DFL-Burnsville. Implementing the policy would result in 80 MW of installed solar capacity in the first year, 1,000 MW (2%) by 2023 and more than 5,300 MW by 2030.
More than 100 businesses already exist throughout Minnesota in the solar sector, according to the lawmakers. Implementing the Solar Energy Jobs Act is expected to create more than 2,000 permanent jobs in the first year after the standard is passed and thousands of jobs over the life of the policy.
Passing the standard would also bring more than $230 million in value-added investments in the state in just the first year and much more over the life of the policy, Eaton and Morgan add. In the U.S., 16 other states have already enacted solar energy standards.
‘It may come as a surprise to some, but Minneapolis and St. Paul have identical or better solar resources than Houston, Texas, and Jacksonville, Florida,’ notes Ken Bradley, program director of Environment Minnesota and the chair of Solar Works for the Minnesota coalition.