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Solar energy goals adjusted

Published (6/1/2010)
By Sue Hegarty
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Dairyland Power, which serves Southeast Minnesota, is given authority to count the electricity it plans to buy from a proposed solar power plant north of Rochester toward its required energy conservation improvement goals.

The solar plant proposed on a closed landfill in Olmsted County would be the Upper Midwest’s largest solar farm. Dairyland Power plans to enter into a long-term power purchase agreement with Westwood Renewables, the project developer and manager.

The new law allows the Public Utilities Commission to use a different standard for Dairyland Power than for other energy conservation improvements if the commissioner deems it is in the public interest. The kilowatt hours of solar energy purchased by Dairyland Power may count for about a third of its savings goal as required by law.

The law, sponsored by Rep. Andy Welti (DFL-Plainview) and Sen. Dan Sparks (DFL-Austin), is effective May 20, 2010.

HF3429/ SF3046*/CH372

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