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Minnesota on track to meet renewable energy standards

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All 16 of the utilities subject to the Minnesota Renewable Energy Standard have demonstrated compliance with the 2011 requirements and are on track to comply with 2012 goals, according to a report released this month by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources.

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The report is entitled Progress on Compliance by Electric Utilities with

the Minnesota Renewable Energy Objective and the Renewable Energy Standard and is prepared for the Minnesota Legislature once every two years.

Minnesota's Renewable Energy Standard (RES) is one of the nation's strongest renewable energy standards. The RES statute, amended in 2007, requires that all electric utilities, with the exception of Xcel Energy, provide 25 percent of their total Minnesota retail electric sales from renewable sources by 2025; Xcel Energy's requirement is 30 percent by 2020. Yet, the RES is balanced to protect ratepayers--from paying excessive amounts for renewable energy, especially if utilities can show they are unable to meet the RES.

"Renewable energy is critical to our clean-energy economy and to ensuring a healthy environment for our children and future generations. It is important that Minnesota remain committed to its Renewable Energy Standard," said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. "We will continue to work with the utilities so that Minnesota remains on track to meet our Renewable Energy Standard goals."

All utilities, with the exception of Xcel Energy, were required to provide 12 percent of their total Minnesota retail electric sales from renewable sources by the end of 2012. Xcel, which provides about half of the state's electricity, had to generate 18 percent of its retail sales from renewable sources by the close of 2012.

Actual 2012 compliance figures will not be known until May 2013, when final figures will be reported to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Year-to-date 2011 generation was used to estimate the ability to comply with 2012 requirements.

The full Renewable Energy Standard progress report is available here or by visiting mn.gov/commerce/energy and clicking on "Information Resources" > "Reports & Data" > "Energy Reports."

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