Minnesota Legislature passes bill to bolster renewables

Source: By Jeffrey Tomich, E&E News • Posted: Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Democratic Gov. Tim Walz is expected to sign legislation aimed at meeting the state’s 2040 zero-carbon goal.

Solar panels in Rockford, Minn.

Solar panels are shown in Rockford, Minnesota. Jim Mone/AP

A year after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill requiring utilities to provide 100 percent carbon-free power by 2040, lawmakers adopted permitting reforms aimed at helping the state achieve its climate goals.

The goal of the permitting changes that passed through the Legislature on Sunday night is to cut through red tape and eliminate barriers to getting renewable energy projects online and transmission lines energized at a quicker pace. According to a report by Minnesota research group North Star Policy Action, the pace of carbon-free power additions must double for the state to meet its 2040 goal. … The bill also included $1 million to fund a study of the health and environmental impacts of carbon dioxide pipelines. Minnesota is among five states where Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions seeks to build a pipeline to transport CO2 collected from ethanol plants for injection deep underground.