Renewable Energy Standard – Minnesota

Date: 20 Jan 2009 | posted in: Energy | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Update 2007: The 2007 Minnesota legislature adopted a stronger renewable energy standard that applies to all the state’s utilities – 25% by 2025 (30%by 2020 for Xcel Energy).  There is a timeline set in the statute for gradual increases in renewable energy requirements.  


Pre 2007 Information: In exchange for granting Xcel Energy (formerly Northern States Power)increased nuclear waste storage, the Minnesota legislature mandated that NSP build or contract out for 225 MW of wind power by December 31, 1998. In addition, NSP had to build or contract out an additional 200 MW of wind power by December 31, 2002, and NSP must build or purchase 50 MW of electric energy from farm grown closed-loop biomass systems by December 31, 1998 and an additional 75 MW by December 31, 2002. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission was also given the authority to require NSP to acquire an addition 400 MW of wind energy if it was determined to be the least cost resource compared to traditional forms of power generation. After a hotly contested proceeding, the PUC ordered NSP to acquire another 400 MW of wind energy.

Whenall is said and done, Minnesota’s renewable energy mandate on Xcel Energy would have resulted in about 825 MW of wind energy and 125 MW of biomass power for the state.