Solar power mandate closer to becoming Minnesota law

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State lawmakers in both the House and Senate have passed bills requiring Minnesota's largest utility companies to generate some of their electricity from the sun, the Associated Press reports.

The Senate version puts the threshold at 1 percent of power coming from solar energy by 2025, while the House wants to establish a standard of 4 percent. A conference committee is working on a compromise.

The new requirement will mean less coal burned, however, utility bills will likely increase for many Minnesotans who rely on big utilities like Minnesota Power and Xcel Energy.

The Duluth News Tribune notes the legislation exempts Northeastern Minnesota’s taconite mines and paper mills. The House bill also exempts rural electric cooperatives and municipal utilities.

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