Minnesota Passes Legislation to Require 100 Percent Carbon-Free Electricity by 2040

Source: RL Martin

On February 7, 2023, Governor Tim Walz signed a bill establishing a Minnesota carbon-free electricity standard. The standard establishes milestones for electric utilities over the next several years, requiring at least 80 percent of electricity to be generated or procured from carbon-free sources by 2030, increasing incrementally until 2040, when all electricity generation will need to shift from fossil fuels to wind, solar, hydropower, or other renewable energy sources. Utilities that are regulated by the Minnesota Public Utility Commission and cannot meet the requirement by 2040 can work with regulators to develop an alternative compliance pathway or purchase renewable energy credits to offset fossil fuel-based electricity generation. The bill encourages utilities to build clean energy generation where fossil fuel plants are scheduled for retirement, prioritizing local high-quality and high-paying jobs for the displaced energy workforce. The bill also expands the benefits that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is to consider when implementing this energy standard to include jobs, equity, emissions reductions, and workforce. Minnesota joins an increasing number of states and jurisdictions with 100 percent clean electricity goals, including California, Connecticut, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. A press release announcement can be found here.