Issues

Clean Energy

Partnering with Great River Energy on our path to electrify the economy

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As a utility with an energy mix that’s more than 70 percent coal, GRE’s leadership took the courageous step to seek out external stakeholders for deep engagement and advice. It conducted a process with the Great Plains Institute to “hear all the voices”, such as its largest industrial customers, lenders, regulators, and advocates (including me) seeking to reduce society’s dependence on fossil fuels. Based in part on those conversations, Great River Energy began to make very strategic shifts in their business, resulting in at least six big decisions over the past several years that Fresh Energy applauds as leadership worthy of national recognition.

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Clean Energy

Property rights protected by Minnesota regulators

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Today, Minnesota regulators ruled in favor of consumers and their property rights when it comes to generating their own solar power. The issue at hand was a customer complaint brought to the Public Utilities Commission after the customer felt he was denied his rights to be compensated for generating his own energy under Minnesota law. The customer’s utility – Minnesota Valley Light and Power Association in Montevideo – had attempted to pay nothing for a significant amount of electricity and other system benefits his solar system would provide back to the grid.

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Energy Efficiency

Supporters raise $13,005 for Fresh Energy on #GTMD16

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As part of Give to the Max Day, nearly 90 Fresh Energy supporters donated $13,005 to keep Minnesota’s progress on clean energy going. We’re especially proud to work in communities across the state and earn the support from folks from Rochester to Elk River and Morris to Laporte. The momentum across Minnesota has also earned Fresh Energy national acclaim, bringing in donations from five different states yesterday alone. Fresh Energy is proud to be a leading voice for clean energy policy and we couldn’t do our work without the amazing support from individuals across the state and country. Thank you so much for your support.

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Transportation & Land Use

December 6 at Noon CST| Everything EVs Webinar

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Join our electric vehicle expert Jukka Kukkonen on December 6 and ask every question you’ve ever had about EVs. Jukka Kukkonen is an electric vehicle expert at Fresh Energy who has worked extensively with auto manufacturers, private businesses, local governments, and EV owners. After giving a quick presentation, Jukka will answer your questions and help get you charged up about going electric.

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Clean Energy

Statement from Fresh Energy following last night’s election

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Decades of experience have shown the value of growing clean energy businesses and jobs across Minnesota. New wind and solar projects have meant family supporting jobs and millions in tax revenue for rural communities. Energy conservation has helped cut waste from our system and lower costs for families and businesses.

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Energy Efficiency

Avoided cost utilized in solar pricing after decades of impacting conservation

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This summer, Minnesota became the first state in the nation to adopt a value of solar (VOS) tariff. This methodology, in contrast with net metering for solar generation, has a 25-year bill credit schedule rather than simply mirroring the retail rate as it fluctuates over time. While factoring in avoided cost may be a new idea for solar, factoring in the value of avoided cost has been used to analyze energy efficiency programs for over 40 years.

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Clean Energy

Fresh Energy Welcomes Senior Policy Associate Andrew Twite

Andrew Twite

Andrew joined Fresh Energy in October 2016 as a senior policy associate on the energy markets team. In this role, he will advance Fresh Energy’s policy work toward a modern electric grid, rate designs that drive progress, and expansion and integration of electric vehicles.

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Global Warming

Minnesota Power To Retire Two Coal Plants

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Today, Minnesota Power based in Duluth announced their decision to retire two older coal-burning power plants, Boswell 1 and 2 in Cohasset, MN, near Grand Rapids, by the end of 2018. Fresh Energy and our clean energy partners advocated that these units appear to be no longer economic to run, with cleaner energy available and cheaper. Regulators at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on June 9, 2016 evaluated the economics of running these older units with needed additional pollution controls, compared to other cleaner, cheaper options for meeting energy needs, and the PUC agreed with us.

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