Gregg Mast brings you a virtual update on all things clean energy including the end of the 2020 legislative session and an invite to our upcoming webinar.
Minnesota Legislative Policy Updates
May 18 marks the final day of the 2020 Legislative Session. We continue to speak with state legislators as they prioritize their work. Leaders have outlined three priorities for the remainder of session:
Matters where both parties have strong agreement on bills already moving at the Capitol
Clean energy policy priorities we’re watching
Energy Conservation and Optimization (ECO) Act. - We support improving Minnesota’s Conservation Improvement Program (CIP), the state’s nation-leading energy efficiency program.
Renewable Development Account spending and Solar*Rewards - Of utmost priority is an extension and funding increase for the Solar*Rewards program, and secondarily, the creation of a Solar on Schools initiative.
Community Solar Garden improvements - We believe the improvements in CSG policy helps local farmers diversify their income, directs tax dollars to localities, improves rural grids, and gets Minnesotans to work.
CEEM advises policymakers on COVID recovery
We understand our business members are facing challenges as we all navigate current circumstances. We are working with policymakers at federal and state levels to identify economic issues and opportunities as policy packages seek to help economies grow as the pandemic continues.
Introducing Tiffanie Connelly, Social Media & Marketing Specialist
In late April, CEEM was pleased to welcome the newest team member to the organization. Tiffanie Connelly joins our communications team as a Social Media and Marketing Specialist. Take a moment to read her introductory blog post.
Benton Communications Co-op develops new solar installation
Incorporated in 1952, Benton Communications started as a local phone company serving central Minnesota. As a cooperative, this long standing company is owned by members and provides phone, cable television and internet to over 4,500 customers.
They’re also the proud new owners of a new 294 kw solar installation, which was a turnkey operation, utilizing open land immediately south of Benton’s main facilities and communications towers to install multiple broad rows of ground mounted solar panels. The project was developed and installed by CEEM-member All Energy Solar this past September.
Benton Communications General Manager Cheryl Scapanski said solar was an attractive option to the company because, “We consume quite a bit of energy and like the idea of becoming self-sufficient.”
“Minnesota solar installers say they have been able to continue work on rooftops with only limited disruptions so far from the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Tim Walz’s emergency executive order requiring Minnesota residents to stay at home permits some businesses to stay open, including those in the energy sector. Solar companies are included under the exemption.”