U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm visits Minnesota
- On August 30, 2023, Secretary Granholm visits Minnesota to tour a solar manufacturing facility and commemorate a new partnership between Heliene and Nexamp, which was made possible by incentives from the President’s Inflation Reduction Act and is expected to create 1,000 new jobs in the region and support the development and construction of approximately 400 community solar projects nationwide.
Strengthening Minnesota’s Economy
- In 2022, there were already 125,194 Minnesota workers employed in the energy sector.
- In St. Louis County, 33% of the electric power generation workforce was in wind, solar, and hydroelectric, and over 1200 workers were employed in energy efficiency.
- The Inflation Reduction Act will expand these opportunities, bringing an estimated $8.5 billion of investment in large-scale clean power generation and storage to Minnesota between now and 2030.
- Minnesota is home to 534,000 small businesses, representing 99.4% of all businesses and employing 46% of all workers in the state, and the Inflation Reduction Act will help them save money. Commercial building owners can receive a tax credit up to $5 per square foot to support energy efficiency improvements that deliver lower utility bills. Other programs that will benefit small businesses include tax credits covering 30% of the costs of installing low-cost solar power and of purchasing clean trucks and vans for commercial fleets.
Clean Energy Investment
- Minnesota has an ambitious statewide goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040.
- Currently, Minnesota has over 6 GW of solar, wind, and storage capacity, making it the tenth largest generator of renewable electricity in the nation.
- There is 811 MW of additional currently planned clean energy capacity in the works in Minnesota, which will power more than 126,000 additional homes.
- The Inflation Reduction Act tax credits that encourage investment in wind and solar will help reduce energy costs, as the costs of solar and wind power are projected to drop by 24% and 33%, respectively, over the next 30 years in Minnesota.
- Since the start of the Biden Administration, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has tracked more than $100 billion in announced battery and EV supply chain investments, including 2 charger manufacturing facilities in Minnesota.
- In the same period, DOE has tracked more than $5 billion in new solar manufacturing investments, including the new solar panel manufacturing facility in Mountain Iron, MN.
- Clean power projects provide over $40.3 million in drought-proof land lease payments to farmers, ranchers, and other private landowners each year in Minnesota.
- Minnesota had 33,200 total EVs registered in the state in 2022, a 39% increase over the 23,900 EVs registered by the end of 2021. Drivers switching to an electric pickup truck could save over $1700 per year in fueling and maintenance costs compared to a gasoline-powered truck. Drivers of smaller cars could save over $1200 per year. The Inflation Reduction Act will make it easier and cheaper to purchase an electric vehicle, with upfront discounts up to $7,500 for new EVs and up to $4,000 for used EVs, helping many Americans skip the gas pump and save on fuel costs.
- Minnesota has over 2,300 alternative fueling stations already. The state will also receive over $14 million in federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help build out more EV charging stations.
Investing In Minnesota
- Thanks to funding from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy has made available more than $235 million in the past year to Minnesota’s state and local governments to invest in energy efficiency and grid resilience. This includes funding to help low-income households access more efficiency appliances, and over $6 million to help strengthen grid resilience.
- Cass Lake-Bena Public Schools in Cass Lake MN were selected to receive almost $9 million from DOE’s Renew America’s Schools program to implement high-impact upgrades at three different school buildings on the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation.
Saving Minnesotans Money on Home Energy Bills
- The U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program and State Energy Program have invested more than $85.2 million in Minnesota since 2015, leading to 696 jobs and over 7,700 homes with reduced energy costs and improved health and safety.
- Upgrading appliances and improving home energy efficiency could save a total of 4,200 GWh of energy in Minnesota, enough to power 210,000 Minnesota homes.
- Minnesota will receive over $148 million to implement a Home Energy Rebate program in the state. Low-income households in Minnesota could save an average of 36% on their home energy bills when they upgrade their appliances and improve energy efficiency through this program.
- The Inflation Reduction Act also includes grants to help state and local governments adopt the latest building energy codes, which would save the average new homeowner in Minnesota 9.1% on their utility bills. That amounts to $238 per year.
Prioritizing Minnesota’s Underserved Communities
- The Biden Administration has committed to advancing equity for all communities, including through the Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure Federal agencies deliver at least 40% of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has more than 140 programs covered by this initiative.
- Six projects in Minnesota were selected in the first round of DOE’s Energizing Rural Communities Prize for their proposals to serve as partners for local rural communities. As a result, they will receive $100,000, in-kind-mentorship services, and eligibility to compete in phase two of the prize.
- A coalition led by Honor the Earth is working with DOE’s Energy Storage for Social Equity program to reduce energy costs and improve resilience for home solar and storage projects.
- Lake Street Council is leading a team engaging minority-owned businesses in underserved neighborhoods to increase solar deployment across Minneapolis and St. Paul. This work is supported by DOE’s Solar Energy Innovation Network.
For current DOE funding opportunities, visit: www.energy.gov/infrastructure