House passes solar energy bill

House passes solar energy bill Click to Enlarge Photo:

May 8, 2013 at 8:40 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Minnesota may join 16 other states that require their utility companies to generate more power from the sun.

The state House has passed a bill that requires investor-owned utilities to get 4 percent of their power from solar sources by 2025.

Supporters say the requirement is good for the environment and promotes jobs. But, critics say solar power is unreliable and would lead to increased utility rates.

DFL Rep. Melissa Hortman is chief sponsor of the bill that passed the House Tuesday. Hortman says the solar legislation is modeled after the state's renewable energy policies that have helped Minnesota generate 14 percent of its power from wind farms.

A companion bill in the Senate sets a goal of 1 percent of solar power by 2025.

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