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Renewable and Environmental Dockets

Renewable Energy Standard

Renewable energy goals were passed in 2001, but a mandate was passed in 2007 ( Minn. Stat. 216b.1691) to require utilities to obtain certain percentages of renewable energy in certain years, with the ultimate requirement of 25% renewable energy by 2025 (30% for Xcel, the state’s largest utility). The Commission requires utilities to submit informational filings every year, and every two years undertakes a formal proceeding to ensure utilities are meeting their renewable energy standards. All utilities subject to this law have met the percentage of renewable energy required every year. 

Tracking Renewable Energy

On October 9, 2007, the Commission designated Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System (M-RETS) under Minn. Stat. 216B.1691, subd. 4(d). The Order required utilities subject to Minnesota’s Renewable Energy Standards to participate in M-RETS. For more information on Commission standards and requirements related to the tracking of renewable energy certificates see the Commission Orders in eDockets under the docket number. 

Solar Energy Standard

Passed in 2013, the Solar Energy Standard (Minn. Stat. 216B.1691, Subd. 2f) applies to Minnesota’s three electric investor owned utilities: Xcel Energy, Minnesota Power, and Otter Tail Power. The legislation requires these three utilities to obtain at least 1.5% of their energy from solar energy, beginning in 2020. 10% of each utility’s solar obligation must be from small solar facilities. Shortly after the law was passed, the Commission clarified in orders various issues related to customer exemptions, and interpretation of the law. Those orders are available in edockets using the docket number below. The Commission has been requiring these 3 utilities to submit progress reports every year showing that they are taking efforts to meet the 2020 SES requirements. 

Carbon Values

Passed in 2007, state law requires the Commission to establish an estimate of the likely range of costs of future carbon dioxide regulation on electricity generation. Before establishing these values, the Minnesota Department of Commerce and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency must study the issue and make recommendations to the Commission on what the values should be. Generally, the Commission establishes values for each calendar year. These values may then be used in resource planning or other resource acquisition proceedings. 

Docket: 07-1199 

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