Regional Clean Energy News

February 8th, 6:29 PM CST by Alison Durheim, KEYC

Last May, the minimum content of biodiesel fuel oil in diesel fuel increased from 10 percent to 20 percent in Minnesota, a win for soybean farmers.

Supporters say it's also been a boost to the environment.

"American Lung Association estimates that B-20 and B-5 during a year, have taken about 223,000 cars off the roads in the state of Minnesota. So, huge benefits in environment, benefits to soybean producer and gives us another market for product," said Mike Youngerberg, Minnesota Soybean Sr. Director of Product Development and Commercialization.

(Video here.)

February 1, 2019 | Energy

SAINT PAUL – Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley today announced new leadership for the department’s Division of Energy Resources, appointing Joe Sullivan as Deputy Commissioner and Katherine Blauvelt as Assistant Commissioner.

“I am pleased to announce this team to lead the Division of Energy Resources, particularly because both Joe and Katherine have strong backgrounds collaborating with multiple stakeholders to find common ground to move Minnesota forward with clean energy policies and a clean energy economy,” said Commissioner Kelley. “Minnesota has been known as a national leader in setting and achieving renewable energy goals. I believe we are at a place in our history where we must find solutions to combat climate change while sharing the economic benefits of the clean energy economy for everyone throughout our state.”

(Continued here. Joe Sullivan was a member of the Southcentral Minnesota Clean Energy Council Executive Board until he had to step away due to his new position. We congratulate Joe on his appointment!)

January 11th, 5:31 PM CST by Alison Durheim, KEYC

(NORTH MANKATO, Minn) - Some Minnesota lawmakers spent their morning in North Mankato discussing proposed policies for all things energy related in the new legislative session; everything from renewable energy to agriculture issues related to energy.

Short–term energy plans for the state and long–term questions for climate change and its effect on Southern Minnesota were hot topics this morning at South Central Cooperative's monthly forum.

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By Tim Krohn, Jan 11, 2019, Mankato Free Press

NORTH MANKATO — Expanding renewable energy has very broad support from the public, but advancing it faces a pushback from groups that would be economically hurt and by a legislative agenda that will be crammed with other important issues, from education to transportation funding and gun legislation.

"There's a lot of people up their clamoring for funding and relief," said state Rep. John Considine, DFL- Mankato. "I'm not hearing a lot about renewable energy (at the Capitol). It's not on the front burner."

(Continued here.)

By Tim Krohn, Mankato Free Press, Dec 14, 2018

NORTH MANKATO — Rochester state Sen. David Senjem said he'll never wear a "global warming" shirt and he was highly skeptical when asked to go on a fact-finding trip to Germany to learn about their goal of having 80 percent or more of their energy from renewables by 2050.

"I went there as a very skeptical Republican." The country's goal was unattainable, he thought. And the idea Germany would shutter all of its 17 nuclear plants seemed "silly." But he found they already have closed nine of those nuclear plants and the rest are scheduled for closure.

"It's working and they will meet their goals," Senjem told a group at South Central College Friday that was attending an energy forum sponsored by Greater Mankato Growth and the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment.

"Energy is going to transition whether we think it will or not. Technology and economics will propel it," he said.

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By Tim Krohn, Mankato Free Press, Dec 10, 2018

MANKATO — A renewable energy firm that has built solar farms in the Mankato area in the past is planning to buy more city property to add another array.

The solar farm would be on the north edge of Mankato, along Sakatah Drive, sitting on 19 acres, or about the size of 14 football fields, next to the BMX track.

Ben Adamich, of Geronimo Energy, said they plan to build in 2020. The two parcels they plan to buy are near a larger solar project they did a few years ago in the Sakatah industrial park.

(Continued here.)

By Dan Greenwood, Mankato Free Press, Monday, September 3, 2018

MANKATO — A decade ago, solar gardens in Minnesota were mainly owned and used by big businesses. There were few opportunities for residents to use solar energy unless you owned a home and could afford to install solar panels yourself. Renters and people with limited income were largely left out of the equation.

There is a growing movement in southern Minnesota to change that power dynamic.

“All of the community solar development that was going on was being done in the most minimal ways for the lowest impact to a very narrow group of energy users,” said Bruce Konewko, project developer for Minneapolis-based Cooperative Energy Futures. “We have a mission focused goal of democratizing energy.”

(Continued here.)