Minnesota

MINNESOTA

Minnesota is home to 5.6 million people with a land area of 89 thousand square miles, making Minnesota the 12th largest state in the US and the 22nd most populous. It is known for its 11,800 lakes, its freezing weather with average winter temperatures of eight degrees Fahrenheit and its stunning amount of snowfall, often getting around 70 inches per year.

Like many other midwestern states, Minnesota is warming quickly and buffeted by more supercharged weather — heat waves, droughts, deluges, wind storms, flooding and even wildfires. Those famous cold winters are warming up at thirteen times the rate of its summers, and its biggest city, Minneapolis, has been classified as one of the nation’s fastest-warming cities. The increasing warmth is taking a toll on the state’s natural environment, especially up north in its boreal forests. Many of Minnesota’s trees, including spruce, fir, paper birch, and quaking aspen, are likely to rapidly decline or even die out completely within the next decade if the warming persists.

The warming winters are also harming Minnesota’s famous lakes, which are freezing later and thawing earlier, making them easy targets for voracious new pests, deadly, parasites, and toxic algae. Another threat to the lakes are the more frequent storms, usually carrying fertilizer runoff from Minnesota’s farming sector,  which contribute to the death of species in lakes via a process called eutrophication, in which the fertilizer fertilizes algae in lakes, causing the populations to explode and promptly die off, using up the lake’s oxygen as they decompose. No oxygen means no life can be supported in the water. Needless to say, Minnesota’s fish populations are also suffering from significant habitat loss.

Floods and droughts, also a result of global warming, are impacting Minnesota’s significant agriculture industry causing, among other things, flash floods, which can be deadly.

With agriculture,  forests, and waters in peril, all of Minnesota’s ecosystems are in greater danger. All of this jeopardizes Minnesota’s tourism industry, which represents 11% of its private job market.

Recognition of the problems created by climate change has generated  some political response. In 2007, Minnesota’s governor signed the Next Generation Energy Act with support from both sides of the aisle. The act set goals for the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state by 80% between 2005 and 2050, while supporting clean energy, energy efficiency, and supplementing other renewable energy standards in Minnesota. Interim goals were also set: a 15% reduction by 2015, and a 30% reduction by 2025. The act also included initiatives to fund in-state conservation programs and community-based energy development. In 2007 when the act was first signed, it made Minnesota second only to California in the toughness of emissions reduction legislation. Unfortunately, as of July 2016, it had missed all of its goals and under the leadership of Lt. Governor Tina Smith, it published a Call to Action.

In February, 2020, legislators introduced bill HF3436, which takes on climate change from both top-down and bottom-up perspectives. If passed it would establish nine grant programs into which Minnesota residents, companies, and school districts could tap in order to diminish the carbon they release into the air by using renewable energy sources. It features a pair of rebate programs and a revolving loan fund. There would be specific grants for homeowners, public schools, and nursing homes, plus programs to help schools and cities purchase electric buses. The bill has yet to make it through the Minnesota legislature.

The bill that did pass and was signed into law at the end of June, 2021, by Gov. Tim Walz is the Omnibus Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy bill.  He also signed the Energy Conservation and Optimization (ECO) Act  into law on May 25, 2021. The bill modernizes the state’s Conservation Improvement Program, a long-term energy- efficiency policy that experts say has saved Minnesotans billions of dollars while avoiding millions of tons in carbon emissions since it began in the 1980s.

Minnesota was the nation’s fourth-largest ethanol producer in 2018. About 30% of all U.S. crude oil imports flow through Minnesota. 25% of utility-scale electricity generation in Minnesota came from coal-fired electric power plants in 2020, down from 53% in 2011. In the same year, Minnesota’s two nuclear power plants fueled 26% of the state’s electrical generation, supplying the largest share of state generation for the first time. However, renewable energy, primarily wind, fueled even more, at 29%. In 2020, Minnesota ranked ninth in the nation in total generation from wind energy with the state’s wind farms accounted for 22% of the total in-state electricity net generation and 74% of renewable generation.

Minnesota’s renewable energy portfolio standard (RPS) applies to all electricity providers in the state. It requires that the state’s utilities, with the exception of the state’s largest utility, generate or procure at least 25% of electricity retail sales from eligible renewable sources by 2025. The state’s largest utility had to obtain 30% of its retail electricity sales from renewable energy by the end of 2020. All public utilities in the state had a further obligation to acquire 1.5% of all retail electricity sales from solar energy by 2020. In addition to the requirements of the RPS, Minnesota has a statewide goal of 10% solar by 2030 for all public utilities. Minnesota utilities have already reached the 25% by 2025 requirement.

They are exploring some fascinating new directions:

  • for example,  a new renewable energy source, a “thermal battery” to power hundreds of apartment units from the Jordan Aquifer.  It can store heat in the summer for use in the winter and likewise with the cold. It will be the first of its kind in Minnesota.
  • a solar panel manufacture called Heliene is preparing to build the 2ndlargest solar panel manufacturing plant in the country in Minnesota’s Iron Range.
  • batteries are being installed in a Minneapolis green jobs training center in one of the country’s first “virtual power plant” power projects with each battery simulating a household buying and selling power with its neighbors.
  • a solar microgrid is being developed on the Red Lake Reservation by Robert Blake, founder of the Minneapolis-based solar installation company Solar Bear.
  • Xcel Energy, plans to accelerate decarbonization efforts cutting emissions by 85% by 2030, in its shift from fossil fuels to renewables.

Minnesota is one of twenty four states, plus Puerto Rico, committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Climate projections study presented to House climate and energy panel 4/25/22

CURRENT NEWS

US States Warned of Unhealthy Air From Wildfires: Weather Watch

By Brian K Sullivan 05/13/24
Air quality has turned unhealthy for parts of the Upper Midwest in the US, including the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as smoke drifts south from ongoing Canadian forest fires, according to AirNow.gov.
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Geothermal cuts emissions and costs at these Minnesota public schools

By Frank Jossi 03/28/24
Geothermal heating and cooling is emerging as a go-to technology for Minnesota school district St. Paul Public Schools as it seeks to renovate aging facilities in line with the district’s climate action plan. Minnesota’s second-largest…
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Grid-Enhancing ‘Magic Balls’ to Get a Major Test in Minnesota

By Dan Gearino 03/21/24
A sensor about the size of a bowling ball can measure the real-time temperature of a transmission line. With this information, the operator can safely increase the level of power flowing through the line.
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Minnesota Eyes Permitting Reform for Clean Energy Amid Gridlock in Congress

By Kristoffer Tigue 03/11/24
Minnesota lawmakers are holding a hearing today to debate a proposed bill that would enact a series of changes to the way the state permits wind and solar farms, as well as the transmission lines…
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Cleaner and quieter electric school buses start to hit the road

12/01/23
Out in the garage of the Northstar Bus Lines headquarters in Maple Grove, three buses sit parked in a row. They appear no different from the many other buses awaiting their afternoon rounds in the…
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Findings from a U.S. report on the impacts of climate change are grim. A scientist’s take on Minnesota’s climate future

By Cathy Wurzer and Alanna Elder 11/20/23
Damage to buildings, ruined crops, medical bills: Climate change is costing people money. It’s also fraying our ties to places that are important for culture, spirituality, or recreation.
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Climate-smart trees can help Minnesota’s forests thrive

11/13/23
Trees in Minnesota’s northwoods that so many of us depend upon, for everything from recreation and logging to animal habitat and carbon sequestration, are dying. Foremost among them, the iconic paper birch has seen huge…
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Minnesota Mine Pits Global Climate Pollution vs. Local Mine Pollution Worries

10/27/23
Fighting the global environmental impacts of climate change unfortunately requires local impacts from mining the minerals needed for electric vehicles, wind turbines and power grids. The Biden administration aims to increase U.S. production of these…
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Minnesota regulators OK rare fund to decommission new Enbridge pipeline

By Walker Orenstein 10/26/23
Enbridge's new oil pipeline across northern Minnesota has only been operating for two years, but state regulators approved a plan Thursday aimed at making the company pay for eventually decommissioning the project.
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Local experts say climate change is leading to longer, more intense allergy seasons in Minnesota

By Jason Hackett 10/19/23
Do your allergies seem worse than ever? Are they lasting longer than they have in the past? There’s a reason for that.
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How Minnesota’s Biggest Businesses Fight Global Warming

By Liz Fedor 10/13/23
Minnesotans have endured three consecutive summer droughts, and in 2023 they watched global temperatures soar as July and August became the hottest on record.
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U.S. Supreme Court will decide soon whether to hear appeal by big oil over Minnesota’s climate change lawsuit

By Ana Radelat 10/09/23
In what could be a landmark case, Minnesota sued the American Petroleum Institute, ExxonMobil and three Koch-owned companies to force them to pay for the effects of climate change on Minnesotans.
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Minnesota-related energy projects receive $614M in federal funding

10/20/23
Minnesota utility projects — from wildfire prevention to getting more clean energy connected to grids — landed $614 million in federal funding this week.

Xcel Energy seeks to grow wind energy in southwest Minnesota

10/19/23
Xcel Energy is seeking a major expansion of wind energy in southwestern Minnesota.

Feds announce major investments in Minnesota’s electric grid

10/18/23
The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded $150 million in grants to Xcel Energy and Minnesota Power to bolster the resiliency of the state's electric grid and help it adapt to a future where much…

Minnesota Emerges as a Leader 
in Climate Action

10/18/23
By 2040, every Minnesotan will have access to carbon-free electricity from the state’s utility companies. That’s the goal of a bill signed into law earlier this year by Minnesota’s Democratic governor, Tim Walz. The “100…

What keeps Minnesota energy officials up at night? Public ‘revolt’ over reliability for one

10/10/23
Four state energy officials spoke at a conference hosted by the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group for solar and energy storage developers.

‘Power to the people’: Efforts to ensure equitable clean energy transition

10/03/23
For the past decade, Jamez Staples has worked to bring the benefits of solar energy to north Minneapolis, the tight-knit community where he grew up. He says for too long it’s been a community overlooked.

Morris is a small Minnesota town with big climate goals

08/29/23
Morris is a small town in western Minnesota with big clean energy goals.

Energy Facts: Impact of the Investing in America Agenda on Minnesota

08/28/23
On August 30, 2023, Secretary Granholm visits Minnesota to tour a solar manufacturing facility and commemorate a new partnership between Heliene and Nexamp, which was made possible by incentives from the President’s Inflation Reduction Act…

Minnesota lawmakers made building wind and solar easier, but debate over permitting and rural development will continue

08/25/23
A landmark energy bill passed by the Minnesota Legislature this winter didn’t just set goals for a carbon-free electric grid by 2040. A lesser-known passage also stuck a toe into what has become a larger…

Northland transmission line to boost reliability as renewables replace power plants

07/31/23
Large cross-country transmission lines carrying clean energy from remote rural areas to population centers will be a key strategy for reducing emissions.

Does solar energy account for 1.8% of Minnesota’s energy?

07/28/23
Solar energy accounted for 3.4% of the state’s electricity production in 2022, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. So far, solar energy accounts for 3.86% of the state’s electricity produced in 2023. Solar is…

This state just dethroned Illinois as the No. 1 clean energy powerhouse in the Midwest: ‘[We’ll] continue to lead the way’

07/11/23
Minnesota, known to many as “L’Étoile du Nord,” or the Star of the North, is earning its name by guiding the country in the transition to clean energy, Inside Climate News reported recently.

Minnesota Power cuts ribbon on 5.6 MW Laskin Solar Project

06/08/23
Minnesota Power’s Laskin Solar Project officially began operations this week, marking a 5.6 MW renewable energy addition to the Iron Range, and the second of three such projects in the company’s pipeline. From 25 acres…

Minnesota Passes Renewable Energy Policies Impacting Various Industries

05/30/23
This week, the Minnesota Legislature passed and delivered to the governor for signature HF2310, an energy policy omnibus bill that provides $216 million for energy initiatives in the state. The legislation includes approximately $140 million…

Minnesota needs more transmission lines for renewable energy. Building them will take a decade or longer.

05/25/23
Minnesota’s power grid is not ready for the flood of renewable energy projects that are expected to come online as the state transitions toward 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, according to industry experts and the…

‘New era’ begins for Minnesota solar and storage market as US$80 million incentives package passed

05/24/23
The US state of Minnesota has passed a package of incentives for solar, energy storage, microgrids and energy resiliency totalling US$80 million. The ‘Omnibus Environment, Natural Resources, Climate, and Energy Finance and Policy bill (HF…

3 ways Minnesota is crushing it on climate action

05/24/23
Minnesota is having a blockbuster year for climate policy. In recent days, the Midwestern state adopted a series of ambitious laws designed to slash greenhouse gas emissions, adding to the momentum kicked off by the…

Minnesota Joins 20 Other States in Pursuit of 100 Percent Clean Energy

04/21/23
On February 7, the governor of Minnesota signed into law a new piece of legislation requiring the state’s electrical utilities to transition to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040. The law is pivotal to advancing…

Minnesota’s community solar garden program set for a revamp under proposed legislation

03/23/23
New legislation would mostly scrap the subscription-based Minnesota's Community Solar Garden program — a critical part of the state's solar energy buildout.

Amendments to Minnesota Energy Law in the 2023 Legislative Session Bring a New Carbon-Free Standard and Other Changes

03/20/23
On Feb. 7, 2023, Governor Walz signed into law H.F. No. 7, which brings numerous changes to Minnesota’s energy laws under Minnesota Statutes chapters 216B, 216E, and 216F related to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s…

Minnesota agency retools to ‘meet the moment’ on climate, clean energy

03/20/23
A state agency with a leading role in Minnesota’s clean energy transition is reorganizing to help the state implement its new 100% clean energy law and capitalize on a coming flood of federal spending.

Minnesota nuclear power reactor seeks 20-year license extension

03/10/23
Northern States Power Co asked to extend the operating license of its Monticello nuclear reactor in Minnesota by another two decades, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said on Friday.

Evergy’s Missouri Power Plant Produces 10MW of New Solar Energy

03/10/23
Evergy has announced that its Hawthorn power plant is now home to 10 megawatts (MW) of new solar energy. From the array, 5 MW will serve customers who chose to participate in Evergy’s Solar Subscription…

$115M Minnesota fund could help match federal grants for energy projects

03/07/23
Pending state legislation would create a $115 million taxpayer-backed fund aimed at matching federal grants for new energy infrastructure in Minnesota.

‘Rusty’ batteries could hold key to Minnesota’s carbon-free power future

02/10/23
In central Minnesota, a first-of-its kind pilot project will test whether new battery storage technology that uses a common process — iron rusting — could play a key role in the nation's transition to cleaner…

Minnesota Has Passed a Landmark Clean Energy Law. Which State Is Next? – Inside Climate News

02/09/23
With remarkable speed, Minnesota lawmakers have passed a bill requiring 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040. The legislation, signed by Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday, means Minnesota joins a group of 10 states (California, Hawaii,…

Gov. Walz signs 100% clean power bill

02/08/23
POLICY: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signs legislation requiring the state’s utilities to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, as state officials express confidence the new law will withstand a legal challenge from neighboring North Dakota.…

Minnesota renewable energy bill that could boost landfill gas, anaerobic digestion heads to governor’s desk

02/07/23
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is expected to soon sign a bill requiring utilities in the state to provide electricity from 100% carbon-free sources by 2040. The bill also calls for utilities to generate at least…

Minnesota moves toward 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040

02/03/23
Minnesota utilities would be obligated to transition to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040 to step up the fight against climate change under a bill speeding through the Legislature.

Minnesota’s carbon-free electricity bill: 8 questions, answered

02/02/23
A bill that sets ambitious standards for clean energy in Minnesota over the next 17 years cleared its final legislative hurdle late Thursday night, and is headed to Gov. Tim Walz for his signature.

Gas utility’s Minnesota hydrogen pilot ‘good news’ so far, but questions remain

01/27/23
CenterPoint Energy is one of the first utilities in the country to start experimenting with blending hydrogen into its natural gas pipeline system, a climate solution critics say is too expensive and impossible to scale.…

Ready for a 20,000-watt pho shop on University Avenue? A new federal program aims to connect immigrant businesses to solar power.

01/24/23
Lake Street, University Avenue, and West Broadway represent some of the most diverse business districts in Minnesota. A federal project is developing a model to help these shops build rooftop solar and plug into the…

Important DNR investments included in the Walz-Flanagan Budget to Move Minnesota Forward

01/26/22
Today’s announcement of the final piece of the Walz-Flanagan Budget to Move Minnesota Forward gives the full picture of 2022 investments in the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ work. The Walz-Flanagan budget proposal for the…

GOVERNOR WALZ, LIEUTENANT GOERNOR FLANAGAN ANNOUNCE PLAN TO PROTECT MINNESOTANS’ HEALTH AND SAFETY

01/26/22
Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today announced proposals to protect Minnesotans’ health and safety in the Walz-Flanagan Budget to Move Minnesota Forward – the Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s supplemental budget recommendation for…

Land & Liberty Coalition Launches in Maryland

01/21/22
“We hope to advance energy policies that make way for clean energy while respecting the unique qualities of each development locale,” said Jackson Keith, Land & Liberty Coalition director. “It’s important that Marylanders who live…

Solar Power Bridges The Political Divide In New & Different Ways

01/21/22
It’s an unfortunate fact of life in the 21st century that support for renewable energy falls along political lines in the US Congress, but that’s nothing new. Energy policy has always been political. Besides, signs…

Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams 2022 Seed Grants double number of 2021 projects

01/21/22
That’s more than twice last year’s number, the release said. Minnesota legislators renewed $140,000 for the grants allocations and the department used $120,000 in U.S. Department of Energy funds. Morgan Family Foundation added $70,000. This…

‘We have a lot to lose’: 16 Minnesota cities declare climate emergency, urge legislative action

01/19/22
Sixteen Minnesota cities, from the North Shore to metro area to southeastern bluff country, are declaring a climate emergency, sending a message to lawmakers ahead of this legislative session that the time for action is…

Minnesota House DFL proposes spending $1B of surplus on climate plan

01/19/22
Minnesota House Democrats are proposing the state use $1 billion of its projected, record-breaking $7.7 billion budget surplus for a wide range of legislation aimed at curbing the effects of human-caused climate change.

City approves Sustainable Building Policy; Rice County making more climate friendly efforts; Temple says NPB has exciting things on the horizon

01/05/22
Last night the Northfield City Council passed a new sustainable building policy that will require new construction receiving subsidy from the city to meet higher environmentally friendly standards than those required by the State of…

Green energy is coming to Prospect Park

09/28/21
On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council approved a $2 million loan for the Towerside Innovation District to build a renewable energy source that could save 500 thousand tons of carbon.

Minneapolis battery pilot will test vision for sharing solar power with neighbors

09/24/21
An energy storage pilot project in Minneapolis will help test a vision for how homeowners might someday share solar power directly with neighbors.

Tribal Solar Projects Provide More Than Climate Solutions

09/16/21
In August 2021, two wildfires surrounded the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in central Montana. By Aug. 11, more than 175,000 acres were ablaze, and all residents of Lame Deer, the largest town on the reservation,…

Minnesota’s Iron Range may soon be home to one of the largest solar panel manufacturing facilities in the country

09/13/21
Minnesota lawmakers made headlines earlier this year when they approved a bundle of financial incentives to draw a timber product mill to the city of Cohasset in northern Minnesota.

Xcel plans to roll out 10,000 MW of renewable energy in Minnesota, Colorado by 2030

07/30/21
Xcel Energy, in its second quarter earnings report on Thursday, said it plans to significantly accelerate decarbonization efforts in its home state of Minnesota and will cut emissions by 85% by 2030.

More EV charging stations on the horizon for Minnesota

By Evan Ramstad and Mike Hughlett 06/12/21
During the 30 to 40 minutes it takes to charge up, Duran talks to people or watches videos on his smartphone. With the charge costing around $15, Duran says the time is worth it.

Minnesota’s new ECO Act will help ease the burdens of energy costs on low-income families, including many people of color

By Andrew Hazzard 05/28/21
A rare bipartisan bill aims to help Minnesota lower emissions while offering significant savings for low-income families, including many people of color.

Hennepin County’s new climate action plan preserves an unpopular old technology: burning garbage near north Minneapolis.

By Andrew Hazzard 05/23/21
The Hennepin County Board set ambitious goals last month for emission reduction and environmental resilience by approving its first climate action plan.

Preparing for Climate Change in Minnesota

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps Minnesota is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Minnesota state and regional initiatives

03/21/19
Find information about The Next Generation Energy Act, the Greenhouse gas emissions reduction report, and the Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunities Initiative (CSEO).

Minnesota Climate Solutions and Economic Opportunities

03/20/19
Minnesota is committed by statute to do its part for the climate by meeting its Next Generation Energy Act goals . This 2007 law requires the state cut its annual emissions of greenhouse gases by…

Welcome to Minneapolis 2040 – The City’s Comprehensive Plan

01/09/20
The City will use this plan to guide decision-making that affects the long-term future of our city as it relates to the built, natural, and economic environment.

KEY RESOURCES

Minnesota Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

02/11/22
Like many states, Minnesota has invested heavily in home solar panels over the years, and those investments have paid off. The state has seen its solar energy production continue to increase in recent years, and…

Minnesota State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/06/21
Minnesota is one of the largest Midwestern states and extends further north than any of the other Lower 48 states. Although Minnesota has no fossil fuel reserves or production, the state plays an important role…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Minnesota

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Minnesota experienced one flood and two severe storms. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Minnesota

07/31/20
Minnesota’s climate is already changing. In the past century, the state has warmed by 3 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainstorms are becoming more intense, and annual rainfall is increasing. In the future, Minnesota can expect more floods,…

Renewable Energy In Minnesota

04/10/20
With nearly a century and half of experience, Minnesota's investor-owned utilities deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy 24/7/365.

Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

04/08/20
The Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES) is a member-run, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in Minneapolis in 1978 and incorporated in Minnesota in 1979 to promote the use of, and to engage in advocacy for, renewable…

Sustainable Home Tour

04/03/20
Reaching the community through advocacy, education and awareness

Minnesota Renewable Energy Society

02/27/20
The Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the use of, and engaging in the advocacy for, renewable energies in Minnesota through education and the demonstration of practical applications.

Renewable Energy In Minnesota

02/27/20
Information on Minnesota's progress on renewable energy from in-state investor owned electric and natural gas utilities.

MORE NEWS

House DFL proposes $1 billion investment to take action on climate change

By Minnesota News Network   01/24/22  
House DFLers this week laid out their proposal for a one-billion-dollar investment this session to help take action on the impacts of climate change in Minnesota. House Speaker Melissa Hortman says…
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Xcel’s long-range plan faces pushback over role of fossil peaking plants

By Frank Jossi   01/21/22  
Xcel Energy’s proposal to potentially build two new natural gas peaking plants has become a key point of contention in the utility’s long-term resource plan currently before Minnesota utility regulators.
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Some Minnesota rural co-ops embrace renewable energy, keep rates flat

By Kirsti Marohn   01/21/22  
What's unusual about this array are the large white boxes connected to it that are the size of shipping containers. They’re batteries that store energy when the sun is shining, to be used when electricity…
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What (if anything) does a deal with Tesla mean for the controversial Tamarack mining project in northern Minnesota?

By Walker Orenstein   01/19/22  
Talon Metals Corp. wants to build an underground mine that would operate for nine years and primarily extract nickel, but also some copper, cobalt, platinum group metals and iron.
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Minnesota’s ice season is getting shorter, report finds

By Jennifer Austin   01/17/22  
Nick Sacco's job planning programming for the Three Rivers Park District has gotten a bit more difficult in the last five years or so. He says it's no longer a sure bet that he'll have…
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Minn. Big Oil Climate Suit Follows Big Tobacco Blueprint

By Dennis Anderson and Jason Reeves   01/07/22  
When Minnesota's Attorney General Keith Ellison announced in June 2020 that his office had filed a climate change lawsuit, the litigation strategy he described was relatively novel for a climate change case.
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An Energy Transition Needs Lots of Power Lines. This 1970s Minnesota Farmers’ Uprising Tried to Block One. What Can it Teach Us?

By Dan Gearino   01/03/22  
If the United States is to make a transition to clean energy, it will need to build many more transmission lines—the thick wires that deliver power from rural areas, where there’s enough open space for…
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California Cities Lead Nation in Clean Energy, New Report Finds

By Madeline Fitzgerald   12/16/21  
San Francisco leads the nation in clean energy and other environmental initiatives, according to a report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.
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U of M to host new Midwest consortium dedicated to actionable climate science

09/29/21  
The U.S. Geological Survey announced today that the University of Minnesota will host a new partnership of higher education and natural resource institutions dedicated to advancing actionable science in response to the climate crisis in…
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Network to boost clean energy jobs, fight climate change

09/29/21  
Minnesota institutions, municipalities, and Fortune 500 companies join forces to provide demonstration and mentorship opportunities for inaugural clean energy cohort
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La Niña watch: Mild fall with closer to average winter ahead?

By Paul Huttner   09/28/21  
A weak La Niña event could signal a closer to average winter for Minnesota. But it's fighting the trend of milder winters with climate change.
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Dry conditions may have boosted Minnesota’s wild rice crop this year, but climate change leaves the future uncertain

By Yasmine Askari   09/28/21  
For years, Nancy Schuldt has taken part in the time-honored tradition of harvesting wild rice in northern Minnesota. And while this year’s historic drought has actually helped in yielding a good crop of wild rice…
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In conservation fight, forests are a weapon — and a potential paycheck

By Jennifer Bjorhus   09/25/21  
The woods up Blueberry Hill Road in northeast Minnesota are the Weideman family's escape, a place to unplug, track signs of bear and wolves, hunt grouse and wander.
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Under student pressure, University of Minnesota to phase out fossil fuel investments

By Ryan Faircloth   09/24/21  
The University of Minnesota plans to withdraw all of its investments in fossil fuel-related companies over the next five to seven years amid pressure from students who want the school to do more to fight…
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EGEB: Minnesota wins by compromising over a wind and solar farm and a historic site

By Michelle Lewis   09/23/21  
Apex Clean Energy is developing the Big Bend project, which will be one of Minnesota’s largest wind farms that will be paired with a big solar array near Comfrey, southwest of Minneapolis.
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Minnesota farmers lack access to federal conservation dollars

By Patrick Condon   09/23/21  
Minnesota farmers are showing great interest in federal incentives to improve their conservation practices, but only a small minority have been successful in winning the grants.
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Gov. Walz calls for ‘creative and courageous thinking’ during Minnesota Climate Week

By Kare 11 Staff   09/21/21  
This summer's extreme weather is showing the impact of our planet's changing climate, and organizations across the world are taking notice.
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As Gov. Tim Walz Proclaims ‘Minnesota Climate Week,’ Ilhan Omar Says ‘Stop Line 3’

By Kenny Stancil   09/20/21  
"The state of Minnesota simply cannot meet our carbon reduction targets if this pipeline goes through," said the Democratic congresswoman. "Our future is on the line."
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As Minnesota’s hunting seasons begin, climate change and the threats it poses lurk

By Dennis Anderson   09/17/21  
Arctic explorer Will Steger saw climate change coming 30 years ago. Ice that throughout human history had been hard as rock was melting, and caribou were forging new migration routes.
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Minnesota expands environmental reviews to include greenhouse gas inventories

By Jennifer Bjorhus   09/15/21  
As Minnesota ramps up the fight on climate change it will soon require developers to measure the greenhouse gases from large new projects.
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Poll finds support among Minnesota voters for Clean Cars rule — and Line 3

By Walker Orenstein   09/14/21  
Over the last year, Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline and Gov. Tim Walz’s tougher new auto emissions standards have been two of the most fiercely debated environmental issues in Minnesota.
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SE Minnesota trout face challenges from climate change

By John Molseed   09/08/21  
Mark Reisetter first started trout fishing while attending Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, as a lark.
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‘Tinderbox conditions’ fuel fire in Superior National Forest

By AP   08/27/21  
Officials in the Superior National Forest said Thursday that the ongoing drought has created “tinderbox conditions” in northeastern Minnesota as firefighters continue to battle an uncontained wildfire, while rain that’s expected to fall in coming…
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Biden Faces Mounting Pressure To Yank Line 3 Oil Pipeline Permits

By Alexander C. Kaufman   08/18/21  
Eight Democratic senators and nearly two dozen House members criticized the Biden administration for allowing pipeline giant Enbridge to continue building Line 3 across wetlands in a letter sent Monday that HuffPost viewed. The lawmakers…
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Minnesota down 6,400 clean energy jobs in 2020, report says

By Rilyn Eischens   08/11/21  
Minnesota lost more than 6,400 sustainable energy jobs in 2020 — a decline of about 10%, according to a report released Wednesday.
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Walz signs omnibus environment bill

By Fritz Busch   07/01/21  
The Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will receive $1 million in Fiscal Year 2021 and 2022 to fund the development and demonstration of a new water storage program starting with the Minnesota…
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Minnesota environmental regulators tout electrification benefits at visit to truck maker

By Matthew Guerry   06/16/21  
 State environmental officials on Wednesday, June 16, highlighted the work of a Twin Cities-area electric truck maker for demonstrating the technology's potential to create jobs and cut carbon emissions.
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Minnesota PUC approves $210M investment for Xcel Energy Northern Wind project

By Chris Galford   06/15/21  
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved a proposal for an additional $210 million investment into Xcel Energy’s wind repower portfolio through its Northern Wind modernization project.
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Minnesota appeals court upholds Line 3 pipeline approval

By Melissa Turtinen   06/14/21  
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld the state's approval of Enbridge Energy's Line 3 pipeline replacement project, dealing a blow to tribes and environmentalists who are fighting the controversial pipeline.
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Minnesota manufacturers jump on electric power bandwagon

By Patrick Kennedy   06/12/21  
Minnesota manufacturers of consumer products and industrial vehicles are converting them to electric power, away from gas and oil. And they're encountering the same tradeoffs seen for cars and trucks.
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Minnesota freshwater lakes are rapidly losing oxygen as temperatures climb

By Greg Stanley   06/12/21  
Freshwater lakes continue to get warmer across the globe, and an almost unseen problem has been growing far beneath the surface: The deepest, coldest reaches of lakes are rapidly losing oxygen.
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Drought conditions are rapidly expanding across Minnesota and Wisconsin.

By Todd Nelson   06/12/21  
Little rainfall fell this week, except in some parts of far northern Minnesota where over an inch of rainfall was reported. Gunflint Lake (Cook County) and Orr (St Louis County) reported over 2 inches of…
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State of Minnesota Progress on Clean Energy Goals Published in Department of Commerce Report

06/11/21  
The Minnesota Department of Commerce has published the Energy Policy and Conservation Quadrennial Report 2020, along with the digital Minnesota Energy Data Dashboard, to provide an up-to-date and comprehensive assessment of the State of Minnesota’s…
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Climate change, land use imperil lakes, according to new research that included Minnesota lakes

By Karen Tolkkinen   06/04/21  
Oxygen levels dropping faster in freshwater lakes than in the oceans, according to new research from the University of Minnesota and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.
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NOAA: Minnesota warming faster than other states

By Chris Hrapsky   05/08/21  
 Minnesota’s 30-year climate report card is in, and it shows the state is getting hotter, wetter, and more severe.
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Greenhouse gases from Line 3 pipeline raise questions about meeting Minnesota’s goals for cutting emissions

By Jennifer Bjorhus   03/28/21  
In an Aug. 21, 2017 photo, workers make sure that each section of the replacement Line 3 that is joined passes muster. Enbridge already has started building the 14-mile stretch of Line 3 from the…
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A fight is brewing over an oil pipeline and it’s pitting Native groups against Big Oil

By Kailani Koenig and Cal Perry   03/27/21  
On the edge of the Mississippi River in Northern Minnesota, Tania Aubid stares at the slushy waters that thaw a little more with every passing spring day. Once the river is no longer frozen, she’s…
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Groups push climate change study of upper Mississippi River

By John Davis   03/26/21  
 Environmental groups are calling on Midwestern governors to produce a climate change study of the Upper Mississippi River Basin.
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Once-wilting Gevo shuttered its Minnesota operation, but sprouts new life

By Neil Saint Anthony   03/26/21  
What is green, has Minnesota roots and soared in value from $1 to $15 per share over the past year amid tremendous speculation about its born-again future? Before slipping back to Earth in recent weeks?
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In northern Minnesota, the Line 3 oil pipeline remains a lightning rod for debate

By Danny Spewak   03/25/21  
 The sounds of construction have echoed through the Fond du Lac Reservation this winter and early spring, as hardened union workers dig ditches and clear paths for the Line 3 replacement project.
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The Indigenous-led fight to stop the Line 3 oil pipeline expansion in Minnesota, explained

By Jariel Arvin   03/25/21  
“Valentine’s Day is about love and having that love for your partner — but for me to have the love, I need to start from the ground up, which is Mother Earth,” Aubid told me.…
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County boundaries become barriers for community solar in Minnesota

By Mark Jossi   03/24/21  
Minnesota solar developers are lobbying state lawmakers to let customers subscribe to community solar projects built farther from their homes or businesses.
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$2.9 Million Proposal Would Better Prepare Minnesota Communities for Effects of Climate Change

By Brett Scott   03/24/21  
The Proposal of $2.9 Million Would Provide Grants to Roughly 15 Communities in Central, Northeastern Minnesota
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Fight against climate change could include goal to reduce driving in Minnesota

By Jennifer Bjorhus   03/23/21  
Minnesotans may be urged to put down the car keys in a new effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and fight climate change.
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Minnesota may add climate impacts to environmental review

By Kirsti Marohn   03/22/21  
Large projects in Minnesota — from new highways to industrial plants to big housing developments — are required to go through an environmental review that examines the project’s potential risks to the land, air, water…
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As spring thaws the Minnesota ice, a new pipeline battle fires up

By Bill Weir   03/20/21  
In the north woods of Minnesota, the mighty Mississippi River looks like a frozen creek. After a bitter February, you can stroll across it with more fear of windburn than thin ice. And if you…
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Why Line 3? Why now?

By Emily Atkin   03/15/21  
Tania Aubid has not eaten solid food for 26 days, but she still has energy to yell at the cops. “No jurisdiction!!” she bellowed at two passing sheriff vehicles on Thursday from a blue beach…
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Xcel, environmentalists square off over planned gas-fired power plant

By Mike Hughlett   03/06/21  
The rise of natural gas-fired power was long welcomed — or at least accepted — by both utilities and clean-energy groups. Gas vanquished coal, cutting both carbon dioxide emissions and wholesale electricity costs.
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How Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency approaches its environmental equity push

By Minn Post   03/04/21  
This story originally appeared in MinnPost and was republished with permission. MinnPost is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization whose mission is to provide high-quality journalism for people who care about Minnesota.
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