In Minnesota, and from Sea to Shining Sea, Mayors Call for Solar

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Timothy Schaefer

Environment Minnesota Research and Policy Center

Minneapolis, MN – Mayors from every U.S. state including Minnesota are embracing a vision for more solar energy in their communities, as stated in a letter released today by Environment Minnesota Research & Policy Center. The group of over 200 “Mayors for Solar Energy” represents cities and towns in states from Florida to Alaska, California to Maine, including Mayor Jacob Frey in Minneapolis.

“While our federal government is promoting 19th-century energy policies, we have to rely on local governments to lead the United States’ transition to modern clean energy usage,” says Tim Schaefer, Director of Environment Minnesota. “Mayors across the state and country are rising to the challenge — thinking bigger, acting smarter, and tapping the sun for more power.”

The list of mayors who signed the letter spans the political spectrum, including 25 Republicans, as well as a broad range of city sizes and budgets.

“When it comes to renewable energy, Minneapolis is not messing around,” said Minneapolis’ Mayor Jacob Frey. “We’ve set a clear path for all municipal operations to be run on 100% renewable energy by 2022, and an even more ambitious goal of achieving 100% renewable energy citywide by 2030. To get there, we are installing solar gardens on municipal buildings and working with community organizations eager to bring solar to the rest of the city. And for punctuation, we created the most aggressive solar incentives in the country for our residents, low-income multi-family buildings, businesses and non-profits.”

The number of signatories on the Mayors for Solar Energy letter has more than tripled from 70 on the initial letter in December of 2017, and Environment Minnesota Research and Policy Center says that number will continue to grow. The Mayors for Solar Energy project goes beyond the letter itself; the organization is also producing resources and hosting trainings to help cities adopt more renewable energy.

“Mayors know the needs of their townspeople better than anyone,” said Schaefer. “They know the existing infrastructure and how to adapt it to best allow solar and other forms of clean, renewable energy to displace the fossil fuels that pollute our communities and make our families sick. These are neighbors helping neighbors to a brighter future.”