Solar Status

KIMT News 3

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ALBERT LEA, MN – When it comes to solar power, it seems our area is poised for growth. A new report is highlighting the top 12 states that have made a considerable contribution to the nation’s rise in solar energy.

While neither Iowa or Minnesota made the cut, Minnesota is receiving an honorable mention. Now, environmental activists are working to increase the state’s solar status.

It’s as simple as this: Energy that comes from the sun. Now Minnesota is being recognized for its efforts to solar power its way into the future.

“We really think the sky is the limit on solar energy. And the progress of other states should give us confidence that we can do much more here in Minnesota,” said Samantha Chadwick, an advocate with Environmental Minnesota Research and Policy Center.

This year, the state legislature passed a bill that’s expected to lead to a more than 30-fold increase in solar power by the end of the decade.

“As we learn more about the benefits of solar and we learn about how accessible it can be, affordable and certainly reliable,  that we are going to continue to see more and more solar projects throughout the state,” said Democratic State Representative Jeanne Poppe.

And projects like that are already lighting up parts of our area.

“There’s solar panels on the roof of a home, this was in Rochester, and they would both be projected to produce 100% of that homes electricity for the year,” said Curt Schellum, CEO of Solar Connection, a solar installation company based in Rochester.

But that’s not all. Take for example a solar-powered car charger installed by students at Riverland Community College.

“The electricity is produced by the solar panels. When this car is plugged in the juice is going right into the battery, so it’s charging the car up, which then runs on the battery,” Schellum said.

Those are just  a couple of examples of how the Land of 10,000 Lakes has its sights set on the sky.

“If you want your state to be a leader in pollution free solar energy, set big goals and good policies, and get them on the books,” said Chadwick.

The states that made the list for top 12 solar states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina and Vermont.

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