Minnesota is about to get a lot more solar. Minnesota utility Minnesota Power just issued a request for proposals (RFP) for up to 300 megawatts each of wind and solar power. The utility said it’s the first in a series of RFPs that it plans to offer.
Even though Minnesota is a northern state it has embraced renewable energy more than some other states. It’s installed a lot of wind power and now it is growing more of its solar resource. Earlier this year it tripled its solar rebates and it’s also among the early states to adopt community solar gardens.
Through the new RFPs the utility will continue to push beyond the state’s mandated renewable energy standard, which it passed in 2015. By 2015 it sourced 26 percent of its energy from renewables, including its 625 megawatts of wind turbines. The state’s mandate required it to have 25 percent of its energy sourced from renewables by 2025.
The new requests are part of what it calls its EnergyForward strategy. Under EnergyForward it said it plans to have a diversified power supply to meet customer needs cost effectively. As part of that strategy it plans to rely less on coal power and more on renewable energy.
In the RFP the utility is seeking proposals for up to 300 megawatts of utility scale solar power that qualifies under Minnesota’s Solar Energy Standard. It said it is seeking to maximize benefits made though the extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar energy. In addition, the utility is seeking customer and utility-scale demand response and onsite generation resources.
The utility also issued an RFP for up to 300 more megawatts of wind power. That would add to the 625 megawatts of wind it already has. Like with the solar RFPs the utility is looking to maximize the benefits of the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) to reduce the costs of solar power.
The RFPs are open through Sept. 7, 2016.Tweet