On Aug. 5, in front of the rooftop solar array on the Minneapolis Station 19 Fire Department, Rep. Frank Hornstein stated, “Solar energy is free, clean and will help to curb climate change; there is no better investment for our future.” Also joining us were Dustin Denison, president of MNSEIA; Peter Teigland, co-founder of Minnesota Community Solar; and Devon Piernot, a member of the U of M Solar Suitability team.
Solar is quickly becoming competitive with options like natural gas, and it creates 91 percent less global warming pollution over its lifetime, according the Environment Minnesota’s new report called “Lighting the Way.” Not only does solar clean up our air, it also creates a better economy. In 2013, 864 jobs were created in the solar industry. The Station 19 array consists of panels that were made in Bloomington and Alexandria, Minnesota.
Rep. Keith Ellison sent us a quote saying, “Solar energy is vital to reversing dangerous global warming, and reducing the health impacts of air pollution. We must end the tax breaks and giveaways we provide to the highly profitable fossil fuel industry, and instead invest in growing clean energy technologies like solar.” We need to tell Minnesota’s elected leaders to keep creating policies like the 2013 solar energy standards and value-of-solar tariff.
On Aug. 7, Innovative Power Systems unveiled their first community solar garden in Chisago County. Community gardens give community members the opportunity to invest in solar at a lower cost. The cost of solar dropped by 60 percent from 2011 to 2013. Just think how much better solar could get in the next two years with more research and development and more solar installed into the grid!
— Tatiana Hakanson, Environment Minnesota
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