Support Minnesota Group Pushing for Better Solar Energy Laws

Target: U.S. Department of Energy

Goal: Support the environmental group Minnesota 2020 in its efforts to better the state’s solar regulations.

The progressive non-partisan group Minnesota 2020 has called for changes in the state’s 2013 legislation to remove the 40KW cap placed on homes and businesses with solar panels tied to the electric grid. Removal of this cap would allow owners of small solar to expand their capacities and sell extra electricity back to the utilities, helping to prevent unnecessary emissions. Support this organization in its work to bring about positive change for Minnesota’s citizens and environment.

Minnesota state law currently requires utilities to purchase surplus power from grid-integrated solar installations, but only up to 40KW. Without this cap, thousands of homes and businesses could invest in additional solar panels, allowing them to satisfy their own energy requirements in an efficient, sustainable fashion, while providing the grid with fresh sources of renewable electricity. Minnesota 2020 is also calling on the state to eliminate a related measure which prohibits third-parties from constructing solar arrays on homes or businesses and selling that power to utilities. Matt Entenza, senior policy director for the group, announced these efforts on February 4th, 2013, at the Hartley Nature Center in Duluth. “Our solar initiative requires zero taxpayer dollars,” he said. “Minnesota is behind 30 other states in our use of solar energy.”

Entenza added that Colorado, California and the province of Ontario have removed similar restrictions from their own laws. If Minnesota were to do the same, it would enable more small-scale projects, create more jobs, and prevent excess coal-related emissions because enough power would be provided by sustainable photovoltaic sources. The state’s utilities have opposed the bills with the excuse that their electric grid systems are unable to handle so many new sources. Enenza notes Ontario expressed the same concerns before its own changes, but the new computer grid monitoring systems easily accepted the solar power. Minnesota placed these laws 40 years ago in the 1980s, when systems were far less advanced. “Just drive across the border toward Thunder Bay and you see solar everywhere,” Entenza said. Without the regulations, making use of the new electricity is simply not an issue.

Minnesota’s removal of these old regulations would give people and businesses alike the option to invest in sustainable solar energy and prevent carbon dioxide emissions in the process. Extra jobs would be created from the installations and more customers unable to afford their own arrays would still benefit from the solar power being sold back to the grid. Sign this petition to ask the U.S. Department of Energy to support Minnesota 2020 in its efforts to protect our natural environment through sustainable change.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Department of Energy,

The state of Minnesota has two old regulations that harm citizens’ and businesses’ ability to make use of solar power. Current state law places a 40KW cap on surplus electricity that Minnesota utilities are required to purchase from small-scale grid-tied home and business solar installations. The second regulation prohibits 3rd parties from performing these small scale installations and then selling extra power back to the grid. The environmental think-tank Minnesota 2020 has called for the elimination of these laws to enable widespread small solar development, which would help prevent unnecessary carbon dioxide pollution.

Without these restrictions, thousands of homes and businesses could invest in additional solar panels, creating thousands of jobs in the process. This would satisfy their own energy requirements in an efficient, sustainable fashion, while providing the grid with fresh sources of renewable electricity. Minnesota needs to get rid of these old laws. I urge you to support Minnesota 2020 in its efforts to bring more solar energy to the state while keeping the atmosphere clean.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Smallman12q via Wikimedia Commons

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One Comment

  1. I agree, but everyone needs to appreciate that adding Solar in their house is an asset that will improve the actual worth of their building if / when they decide to sell. With the environment the way it is going we are not able to ignore any product or service that delivers 100 % free power at no cost to both the buyer and more notably the environment!

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