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Utilities expected to meet renewable energy goals

January 27, 2011

Utilities expected to meet renewable energy goals


For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 27

Minnesota Utilities Expected to Meet Renewable Energy Goals

(ST. PAUL, MN) Minnesota's utilities are on track to meet the state's Renewable Energy Standard (RES) requirements, according to a January report released by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Office of Energy Security (OES).

Minnesota's Renewable Energy Standard (RES) is one of the nation's strongest renewable energy standards, requiring utilities to provide 25 percent of their total electrical generation from renewable sources like wind, hydrogen and solar power by the year 2025.

Initially enacted in 2001 as the Minnesota Renewable Energy Objective, the law first required that utilities only "make a good faith effort" to obtain 10 percent of their Minnesota retail energy sales from renewable sources by 2015.  In 2007, the law was amended to establish a Renewable Energy Standard with mandated renewable energy goals beginning in 2010.

All utilities, with the exception of Xcel Energy, are required to obtain 7 percent of their Minnesota retail sales from renewable energy in 2010. Xcel, which represents half of the state's electricity, must generate 15 percent of its 2010 Minnesota retail sales from renewable sources.

"Renewable energy is critical to a green economy and jobs as well as a healthy environment for our children and future generations," said Mike Rothman, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce. "It's important that Minnesota's utilities continue to meet the aggressive goals outlined by the state's Renewable Energy Standard."

While actual compliance by utilities will not be known until May when final figures are reported to the Public Utilities Commission, OES used several factors, including year-to-date 2010 generation, to estimate the ability of the utilities to comply with the 2010 requirements.

To view the full report, visit www.energy.mn.gov and click on "Renewable Energy Objectives Report" under the "What's New" section on the left side of the page, or go to: http://tinyurl.com/MN-RES-Report .