Victory for Solar at the Capitol!

Environment Minnesota

The sun’s been shining in Saint Paul ever since a bipartisan group of legislators worked together to pass a bonding bill that makes it easier to install solar on schools, hospitals and other public buildings.

Environment Minnesota Director Ken Bradley said, “We couldn’t have won without the thousands of postcards, letters and emails that our members sent to your legislators and Governor Dayton, encouraging them to support policies that make it easier for solar power to be installed in our state. We are excited to have made such progress in such a difficult political atmosphere.”

This provision will allow public building projects financed by bonding to use 5 percent of the project cost for solar photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal systems, providing local, clean energy for electricity, heating, and cooling for our public buildings. Best of all, the fuel is free, bringing long-term utility bill savings to thousands of Minnesota public buildings—including classrooms in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MNSCU) and other state-funded buildings. This translates to direct savings for taxpayers!

Best of all, a “Made in Minnesota” provision will help Minnesota solar businesses to manufacture these solar photovoltaics and thermal systems right here in our state. This legislation will create manufacturing jobs across Minnesota, especially in areas that have been plagued with high unemployment and stagnant economies. This isn’t just a victory for solar power and the environment—it’s also a victory for Minnesota’s economy.

“We began building the Solar Works for Minnesota Coalition just  two years ago. Passing this legislation is proof that when business, organized labor and non-profits come together to solve difficult problems, we can make a significant impact,” said Ken Bradley, Director of Environment Minnesota and Chair of the Solar Works for Minnesota Coalition. The Solar Works for Minnesota coalition includes more than 150 businesses, unions and non-profits working towards the goal of generating 10% of Minnesota’s power from the sun by 2030.