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Consumer-Friendly Community Solar Pledge

The solar industry in Minnesota is growing rapidly, with new businesses and jobs being added every day. To help consumers navigate this rapidly growing market, Fresh Energy has established a set of best practices you can look for when choosing a community solar business.
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Clean Energy

Clean Energy

Regulators approve Minnesota Power’s utility controlled community solar program

Last week, Minnesota regulators approved a utility controlled community solar program for Minnesota Power, creating new options for utility customers and taking steps to grow the solar market in Northern Minnesota communities. While the program falls short of what Fresh Energy recommended, our coordinated efforts with other energy experts and local advocates improved upon the utility’s initial proposal.

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Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency

David Collier joins Governor Mark Dayton, wraps up his Capitol Pathways internship

This spring, Fresh Energy was happy to take part in the Capitol Pathways program to improve diversity at the State Capitol. As part of that program, David Collier worked with our legislative team to build support and protect key policies this past session. As part of that work, David was asked to speak alongside Governor Mark Dayton and other interns at the reception to celebrate the first year of the Capitol Pathways program.

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Global Warming

Global Warming

175 nations sign the Paris Climate Agreement

Over 170 governments declared an end to the fossil fuel era on Earth Day, April 22, signing the Paris Agreement, the first global commitment on climate change. Signers included the big emitters: the U.S., China, India, and Russia. World leaders were united in speaking of the urgency to act on climate change, calling for scaled up actions, and saying that political will was never stronger. Leaders also committed to rapid national processes to approve the agreement. However, while the landmark signing ceremony made history, global temperatures keep shattering records. As UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon explained, “We are in a race against time.”

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Nation-leading news: Judge recommends Minnesota use federal “social cost of carbon”

A huge win for Minnesota on April 15 – a judge, after over a year of expert testimony, legal briefs, and public hearings, recommended to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that it adopt the federal “social cost of carbon” as the binding external cost of carbon dioxide emissions for all electric utility decision making. That means that the PUC (and the utilities that need the PUC to approve their spending plans) will have to include those very negative external costs in their calculations. As a result, fossil forms of electricity generation will be much more difficult to justify on economic terms.

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The Narrative

The Narrative

188-2: Minnesota Sets Standard for Land Use on Solar Sites

Authored by agriculture leaders, a new law sends a clear signal to the solar industry regarding a preferred practice for use of land on solar sites. State-wide standard will meaningfully help Minnesota’s bees, monarchs, pheasants, and songbirds, by providing abundant, high-quality foraging habitat on solar sites.

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Transportation & Land Use

Transportation & Land Use

325,000 reserved the new Tesla – what does it mean for EVs?

This is the latest is a series of events showing the growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) in Minnesota and nationally, including an all-electric room at the Twin Cities Auto Show and a steep discount on the Nissan Leaf in the month of March. With the Chevy Bolt (another 200 mile electric vehicle expected to cost around $35,000) set to release next year, a year ahead of the Model 3, a new issue is about to be raised in the world of electric vehicles: the downside of being first to market.

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Tackling transportation issues this session

As the legislative session gets underway, there has been growing demand from local leaders around the state calling for the legislature to pass a sustainable, long-term funding package that support all transportation options, from biking and walking trails to public transportation and road repair.

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DRIVE – NEUTRAL – REVERSE: What’s shifting EV markets?

The market for electric vehicles (EVs) has been developing rapidly over the past several years. As the market matures, it has the potential to make a dramatic impact not only on the auto industry but electric utilities, consumers, and the entire electric grid. To make sense of it all, we took a look at which market forces are shifting EVs into DRIVE, which are keeping the market in NEUTRAL, and which are moving things in REVERSE.

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