Minnesota lawmakers consider rate-based solar power incentives

  • Article by: David Shaffer , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 5, 2013 - 11:11 PM

New rates would change what utilities must pay solar-panel owners. Utilities would face a mandate.

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fdrebinMar. 5, 13 9:38 PM

Every one of this people is insane, not just the governor. If solar energy made one iota of sense, you would not ned to subsidize it with other people's money. I have to believe, just like the Solyndra deal that bilked the taxpayer's out of millions in exchange for campaign contributions, there is something more to this push to use something that simply doesn't work.

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olsoga01Mar. 5, 13 9:48 PM

I pretty much convinced that in order to get higher compensation rates for solar I will end up paying more conventional electric power. My only alternative seems to be to buy a solar panel (which has no chance of ever even paying back its initial cost). My message to the legislature: How about you go after the big issues and leave this one until more effective solar panels are available?

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freedomallMar. 5, 1310:18 PM

Finally some common sense when it comes to Energy! While North Dakota is still living in the late 19th century with their 'Oil Boom', Minnesota is leading the way to the future with Renewable Energy! Expand renewables and close ALL Nuclear Power Plants. Germany will be closing all of theirs by 2020.

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esandeenMar. 5, 1310:25 PM

If this is done correctly and fairly, then there should be no cause for complaint. The "value of solar" analysis should be done in a transparent manner, with all of the parameters and assumptions well understood. Look at avoidance of transmission line & substation infrastructure costs and look at the value of electricity produced by solar at peak grid load times, vs. the cost of peaker plants and spot-buys on the power grid. If, after a fair analysis, the "value of solar" comes in low, then so be it. But even financial conservatives should be pleased that they are proposing a look at the issue from a financial/analytical perspective. FWIW, there is a presentation on the value of solar calculations done by Austin Energy on their website.

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FrankLMar. 5, 1310:48 PM

The rate should be for the generation rate since the transmission cost is still incurred no matter what the source of electricity.

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jhb8426Mar. 5, 1311:09 PM

This is bogus. It's worth no more than the standard rate. If it costs more to produce that's their problem to overcome, not the rest of the rate payers.

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esandeenMar. 5, 1311:50 PM

FrankL, solar energy can be produced smack in the middle of a city. Not so with wind, coal, or nukes, so there may well be a transmission cost savings. jhb8426, there may be a "standard rate" on your bill, but the utility has different costs for different sources at different times. If solar offsets expensive summer peak energy generation, then it should be compensated accordingly.

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hendr757Mar. 6, 13 6:46 AM

The article said that Minnesota would be the firs state to implement such a policy. My question is if it is such a good idea why haven't the southern states with their more direct sunlight implemented a similar plan?

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supervon2Mar. 6, 13 7:02 AM

Note that smelters in Germany are moving to China due to high energy costs with the removal of nuclear power. China is smart-they know the whackos will make their lives easy by sending all the work their way. What a free lunch.

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luzhishenMar. 6, 13 7:42 AM

This is a great idea.

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