SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the House Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee considered legislation authored by Rep. Liz Reyer (DFL – Eagan) to establish a grant program that will help local units of government purchase solar panels and install them on public buildings.
“We are at a moment in history where we need everyone to take action to combat climate change,” said Rep. Reyer. “My bill helps communities across Minnesota do their part by providing grants to purchase and install solar panels. This investment will lower energy costs and create good-paying jobs while helping our state fight climate change.”
The bill appropriates $25 million from the Renewable Development Account and the General Fund to establish a new grant program that will be administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Grants will be offered to cities, townships, and counties who wish to install solar energy systems on public buildings, such as community centers, wastewater treatment plants, airports, and libraries. These types of buildings often have flat roofs and are located on large tracts of land, which makes them excellent candidates for solar energy installations.
Since solar power is the cheapest source of electricity, this legislation will help reduce costs. It will also create good-paying jobs in the communities that receive grant funding and accelerate Minnesota’s transition to clean energy, a vital component of our state’s fight against climate change.
Logan O’Grady, the Executive Director of the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association; Isabel Ricker, the Senior Manager of Clean Electricity at Fresh Energy; Kate Knuth, a Policy and Research Consultant with the 100% Campaign; and Mike Supina, a registered architect and Eagan City Councilmember, testified in support of the legislation. More information and documents from the hearing can be found on the committee’s webpage. A video of the hearing is available on House Public Information Services’ YouTube channel.