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Clean Energy

MN regulators adopt first of its kind value of solar rate

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Today, Minnesota regulators adopted a value of solar rate for Xcel Energy’s community solar program – consistent with detailed recommendations made by Fresh Energy. The decision comes after more than a year of work by nonprofits, utilities, solar businesses, and regulators to shape the next phase of Xcel Energy’s community solar program. Though there has been tremendous interest in community solar in Minnesota so far, progress on the solar gardens themselves had been slow. However, we now expect 400 – 450 MW of community solar projects in service by the end of 2017. Today’s decision will apply to the next phase of community solar projects.

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Clean Energy

EPA agrees with Fresh Energy, provides opportunities for solar in low-income communities

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On June 16, the Environmental Protection Agency agreed with Fresh Energy’s recommendations and announced updates to its proposed Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), a voluntary program that helps states meet their Clean Power Plan goals by encouraging investments in clean, renewable energy in the two years before the first compliance deadline.

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Clean Energy

Regulators approve Minnesota Power’s utility controlled community solar program

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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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Clean Energy

2016 Legislative Session Summary

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With so many topics being debated, it was hard for any issue to be resolved. Even bonding and transportation, two of the highest priorities for communities, legislators, and Governor Mark Dayton, received no action – with frantic debate going right down to the wire. Thankfully, were were able to move forward with several wins on energy and protect our foundational energy policies.

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Clean Energy

Fresh Energy Shaping the Grid of the Future

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Minnesota’s current grid was designed to move electricity from coal plants to consumers hundreds of miles away. New technologically-advanced energy systems are coming into the market, but many projects are stopped or stalled at the point when they need to connect to the electric grid.

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Clean Energy

Statement from Fresh Energy on community solar consumer issues

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“This story is a clear example of the need for tools that consumers can use when exploring their community solar options. At Fresh Energy we recognize those challenges. Based on our knowledge of community solar policy and best practices we have developed a Consumer Friendly Community Solar Rating system and will release it in the next few days. This rating will outline a set of best practices for community solar businesses, with regard to transparency in customer agreements as well as business practices to support access to solar for all. As an independent nonprofit our goal is to create a solar market that works for all Minnesotans, and community solar is one of the best ways to do that. We are committed to providing a clear road map for consumers to follow when navigating this rapidly growing market.

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