Minnesota Studies Impacts of Obtaining 20% of Electricity from Wind Energy in 2020

May 25, 2005

Minnesota Governor signed legislation on May 25 that will favor development of wind energy. Titled the Omnibus Energy Bill, this legislation creates a mechanism for utilities to recover the costs of building transmission lines to windy areas of the state. Like almost all states, Minnesota's windy areas are sparsely populated and located (in the western part of the state) many miles from its population centers. As a result, transmission capacity is key to expanding wind power generation. Read the bill.

The energy bill also encourages the development of community-sponsored wind projects. Finally, it requires the state's utilities to participate with the Minnesota Public Utility Commission in a formal study of the costs and benefits of increasing the contribution of wind energy to 20% of the state's electricity generation in 2020. For more details, see the July 2005 edition of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council's Interconnection newsletter.