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Falling into our legislative & regulatory work
CEEM's Director of Policy & Public Affairs Benjamin Stafford gives us a highlight of our legislative and regulatory work this fall and a few events we hope to catch you at!
Regulatory Front: What to Watch For
There will be a LOT of regulatory activities in the coming weeks that will impact clean energy. Here’s a fearsome foursome of regulatory highlights:

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission Dockets
  • Docket 19-505: Open Petition with the Public Utilities Commission for a discussion on Open Data Access Standard.. Access to energy data is critical for growing the clean energy economy. We support a discussion of the Petition, filed by Citizens Utility Board. The PUC posed an initial set of questions for stakeholders, and comments are due October 15.
  • Docket 19-368: Xcel Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan. IRPs discuss the current and future utility generation for the next 15 years. Xcel filed the initial plan in July. A series of PUC public workshops will be held throughout Xcel territory, starting with one in Minneapolis on 10/21. Initial stakeholder comments are due November 8, and reply comments by January 8, 2020.
  • Integrated Distribution Plans: All Minnesota utilities will file comprehensive distribution system plans on November 1 (note different filing requirements for Xcel and other utilities). Clean energy resources often connect to distribution systems, and new filing requirements broaden important regulatory discussions. CEEM has attended extensive stakeholder workshops on IDPs with Xcel Energy, Dakota Energy, and Minnesota Power.
 
Department of Commerce Energy Storage Cost/Benefit Study Process
  • The CEEM-supported storage bill which passed last session is in effect. Part of that bill requires the Department of Commerce (Dept) to complete a cost/benefit analysis study of energy storage in Minnesota. The Dept held a workshop on scoping the study on 9/20 and presented some initial concepts (recording here).
  • Afterward, Dept opened a link for comments and suggestions focusing on three elements of the study: (1) use cases, (2) storage technologies, and (3) study input assumptions. Feedback was due 10/4. The next workshop will be on Friday, October 11 from 9 am-12 pm.
  • If you are interested in attending, please register for this workshop so they can plan appropriately.

What are Opportunity Zones?

Opportunity Zones have been called “the biggest economic development opportunity in 50 years,” and there has been significant press about how clean energy projects – including renewables, energy storage, and energy efficiency – could benefit from the program. Yet OZs, which were designed to spur long-term investment of capital in low-income communities, have left many businesses questioning how best to leverage the program’s tax benefits.
 
Learn more about the program and how it could apply to your business at our Lunch and Learn on October 24 at Avisen Legal. RSVP Today!

Minnesota's Unstoppable PACE

New PACE legislation went into effect on August 1, 2019. Since then, the Saint Paul Port Authority has funded $11.4 million in new construction projects -- nearly half of the $22.5 million in total funding so far this year.
 
Learn more in our blog post.
What do business and climate change have to do with one another?
 
Recently, CEEM has joined community discussions on climate, offering a perspective that fewer voters hear, how clean energy is growing jobs in their neighborhoods.
 
Learn more in our blog post.
Clean Energy Economy MN Presents
Meet Dennis and Andy Kim, President and Vice President of EVS, Inc. Learn why they think solar is changing the world. Read more about their story here. 
EVS, Inc. celebrates 40 years!

CEEM wishes EVS, Inc. a happy birthday!

Pictured from L to R: Dennis Kim (President of EVS, Inc.), Amelia Cerling Hennes (CEEM), Gregg Mast (CEEM), and Will Steger. 
Current Revolution
 
CEEM is a proud sponsor of the Twin Cities Film Fest’s Changemaker series this fall taking place in St. Louis Park at the Showplace Icon Theatre. 

The film Current Revolution debuts on Oct. 17 and tackles the challenge of how the utility, auto, tech and defense industries can help modernize the aging power grid to make it more secure and responsive to the needs of its users, while enhancing environmental performance.
 
Get your tickets here and join the post-film discussion with Benjamin Stafford sharing a Minnesota perspective on the film.
U.S. Bank Stadium

Coming off a victory against the Giants last week, we thought we’d take a moment to recognize the incredible work of two of our member companies who helped construct U.S. Bank Stadium.
 
EVS, Inc. performed the civil engineering on the project while Mortenson served as construction manager. We like this quote from Architecture Minnesota, in a piece highlighting the stadium:
 
“Whatever you think of the $1.1 billion price tag, you can’t deny the place is impressive. It’s immense, and for many it’s an intriguing design. And even if you don’t like the look of the colossus, you can’t help but be wowed by the engineering and technology that make the unique structure possible.” Read more. 

Clean Energy in the News
~ Associated Press

Minnesota will require car manufacturers to sell more electric vehicles in the state starting in the 2023 model year.
~ MinnPost

As the country weans itself off fossil fuels to stem climate change, the role of natural gas has been highly divisive.
~ Midwest Energy News
 
After falling for a few years, the rate paid to community solar projects is projected to surge in 2020 if changes aren’t made.
 

~ Star Tribune
 
The wind turbine and small solar array planted in a cornfield near this northwestern Minnesota town look modest. But the hybrid power plant could be a new frontier for renewable energy.

  Knowledge Charging Station  



Clean Energy Fact of the Month:
 
Minnesota has 613 megawatts of installed community solar gardens. 
 
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Upcoming Events
Looking Downfield: Clean Energy Goals. Join CEEM on Nov. 6 at Allianz Field for an evening of clean energy policy conversations and media perspectives.
 
A magical evening is coming up with Clean Grid Alliance on October 17! The evening gala will explore how we can double down on renewable energy in the Midwest with a top-notch panel of C&I customers, including Google. 
Check out MnSEIA's annual Gateway to Solar Conference running Oct. 21-22Watch for a panel on energy storage featuring Benjamin Stafford. The day kicks off with a keynote from Lt. Gov. Flanagan and much more!
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