Fresh Energy’s science policy director, J. Drake Hamilton, will be speaking October 11th at White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church. Come learn about how achingly close we are to a renewable-energy revolution, and what Minnesotans can do to power solutions.
Fresh Energy’s science policy director J. Drake Hamilton will be speaking at the Annual Minnesota Policy Conference on Tuesday, October 18. A national expert in climate and energy policies, she will address the major policy questions facing Minnesotans and the opportunities for state and local climate action in a time of federal denial.
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.
Today, Xcel Energy issued an RFP to add 1,500 megawatts of wind power. Fresh Energy played a key role in advocating for the consideration of cost effective wind power in Xcel’s resource plan. Fresh Energy executive director Michael Noble, released the following statement:
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. It is a voluntary program for private Minnesota buildings as well as a requirement for all buildings receiving general obligation bond funding. This energy standard has led to an approximate savings of 534 billion BTUs and $8.3 million per year compared to the minimum energy code requirements.
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. This monthly charge is largely seen as discouraging energy conservation and energy efficiency because customers will pay the same amount no matter how much energy they use. 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