Duluth News Tribune

Two changes in Minnesota laws limiting solar power production could help boost local jobs, reduce emissions and move the state toward energy independence.

And the effort won’t cost taxpayers a dime.

That was the assessment today from the group Minnesota 2020, which called on the 2013 state legislature to get rid of the current 40 kilowatt cap placed on homes and businesses with solar electric panels tied into the electric grid.

Minnesota law requires utilities to buy excess electricity from grid-tied solar systems, but only up to 40 kW. If that cap was removed, homeowners and businesses could expand their solar capacity and sell their extra electricity to the utilities, said Matt Entenza, senior policy director for Minnesota 2020, a progressive-leaning social policy think tank.

The group also called on the legislature to remove a current law prohibiting third-party investors from building solar electric systems on homes or businesses and then selling that power to utilities.

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