View Case Record, M-15-825
Subscribe to This Case
Comments must be received by 4:30pm on the close date.
I ask the commission to make MN Power follow the law and allow community and church groups to own their own solar gardens. It's my understanding that MN Power wants a variance to bypass the current requirements. Please do not give them this variance. Require them to have community input and allow for community ownership of solar gardens in Duluth and northern MN. We deserve no less than the programs Xcel Energy has with the community. Thank you.
It is no surprise that MN Power does not want to participate in the solar program or bypass the requirements for this program. They are hardly the corporate models that they make out to be. They recently logged several hundred acres on forest land near Whiteface Reservoir and have plans to do the same this summer. I haven't heard of any plans to replant or reforest any of this land. I'm sure they are preparing to sell leases through Shorelandtraditions and then charge ridiculous annual fees besides. The only services provided for this is a road access and the opportunity to purchase power from them!
It is imperative that the PUC deny Minnesota Power's request to bypass the 2013 Minnesota law which allowed the people of southern Minnesota to set up true community solar gardens. If Minnesota Power gets its way, monopoly control over CSGs will be with us for many years to come. Utilities are accustomed to costs always going up, but, solar is a technology whose price is steadily falling. We need to open up the market for this most human-scale of the energy technologies to third-parties who can start small businesses in our area, hire local people for this often entry-level work and provide small, almost micro-sized projects for small groups, churches and other organizations. The economic power of this grass roots approach to solar is hard to underestimate. It also allows us to exploit small areas of rooftops, spare lots, etc that a monopoly like Minnesota Power would never dream of exploring and building upon. This has important ramifications for the environment as we move forward. Please deny Minnesota Power's proposal and insist that true community solar gardens are allowed in the service area in accordance with the principles laid out by Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light and the 2013 Minnesota Legislature's intent.