Minnesota

Global Warming

How the historic decision to transform Xcel Energy’s electricity was made

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Working directly with Xcel and with our “Clean Energy Organizations”, or CEO, partnership, Fresh Energy used for the first time in Minnesota the same utility inputs and modeling Xcel uses. We analyzed options for closing the Sherco 1 and 2 coal plants and replacing them with vast amounts of cost-effective energy efficiency, wind, and solar power. Our independent analysis demonstrated that Xcel’s cheapest course of action—and the lowest in carbon—was the retirement and replacement of these two units, which are the biggest sources of global warming pollution in the Upper Midwest. Xcel agreed with our analysis, and completely revised its 15-year plan to reflect those economic opportunities. Fresh Energy applauds the unanimous Minnesota Public Utilities Commission decision to modify and approve Xcel’s 15-year Resource Plan as the affordable, reliable, and clean path forward for Minnesota customers.

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Energy Efficiency

Minnesota’s opportunity for better buildings with SB 2030

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This summer, the Minnesota Environmental Board (EQB) released the Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunities Report (CSEO Report), laying out the need to expand Minnesota’s “zero energy” building code, Sustainable Buildings 2030 (SB 2030). SB 2030 is an initiative to make all newly constructed and renovated buildings carbon neutral by 2030.

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Energy Efficiency

Fresh Energy proposes decoupling, improved energy conservation for Otter Tail Power

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Today, Fresh Energy filed expert testimony in Otter Tail Power’s current rate case at the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), proposing a full revenue decoupling mechanism that could improve energy conservation investments for consumers. Otter Tail Power had proposed increasing the monthly customer charge from $8.50 to $13.30. Fresh Energy instead put forward a decoupling proposal that would help address Otter Tail Power’s concerns around stable revenue streams while allowing for substantial energy efficiency efforts and cost savings by the utility and its customers

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Energy Efficiency

Fresh Energy Welcomes Our Summer Fellows

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Fellows help power Fresh Energy programs – and provide professional experience to emerging clean energy leaders. This summer, Fresh Energy is excited to welcome our summer fellows Ana Diaz, Kate Strickland, and Saskia Zinn. We also recently said farewell to our spring fellow Dave Evans.

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Global Warming

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

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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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Global Warming

2015 was the world’s hottest year ever recorded – it’s time for action

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Today, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released data showing that 2015 was by far the warmest year on record, surpassing 2014 by an unprecedented 1.6 degrees Celsius. These new data confirm that now is the time to take global action to address climate. Thankfully, 194 countries from around the world now have a framework in place to move in that direction. On the heels of the historic Paris Agreement, it’s crucial that Minnesota continue to lead by example on energy policy that can grow local businesses and create well-paying jobs all while reducing emissions from dirty, imported fuels.

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Global Warming

Statement from Fresh Energy on new data showing 2015 as warmest year ever

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“These new data confirm that now is the time to take global action to address climate. On the heels of the historic Paris Agreement, it’s crucial that Minnesota continue to lead by example on energy policy that can grow local businesses and create well-paying jobs all while reducing emissions from dirty, imported fuels.”

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Clean Energy

Fresh Energy to partner with the Department of Energy on national solar workshop

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Fresh Energy is proud to announce that it will partner with the U.S. Department of Energy to host a National Community Solar Partnership workshop in 2016. Building off of a National Community Solar Summit at the White House on November 17, the workshop will convene solar companies, nonprofits, and state and local community leaders who are working to expand community solar in the Midwest.

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Clean Energy

Statement from Fresh Energy on today’s landmark climate agreement in Paris

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“Today in Paris, leaders of almost 200 nations agree to a landmark climate policy. We’re proud that actions in Minnesota over the past decade have demonstrated deep carbon reductions that grow jobs and generate economic opportunities; today’s agreement at the Paris Climate Summit was made possible by demonstrations of economic opportunities in Minnesota and other places around the world. Fresh Energy looks forward to working with businesses and elected officials in Minnesota to ensure that our state leads the nation in carbon reductions while moving us even faster into the clean energy economy.”

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