Impact and Programs
Some of Fresh Energy's impact and accomplishments in the past year include:
Clean Cars gained momentum. Working behind the scenes with the Governor Walz team, Fresh Energy had the leading role outside the administration in shaping and driving the governor’s Clean Cars decision.
100 percent carbon-free energy was announced. Governor Tim Walz officially announced his Administration’s support for a 100 percent carbon free electricity standard. We are proud that Fresh Energy’s Executive Director, Michael Noble, was personally invited by the Governor to speak at the press conference and Fresh Energy staff provided crucial leadership in our work at the capital and in coalitions
Coal plant self-scheduling was scrutinized. Fresh Energy conducted regulatory work that will generate significant carbon reductions by calling upon coal plants run less.
Public school energy benchmarking bill passed. After five years of hard work and advocacy by Fresh Energy, the legislature passed a bill that requires public schools to track their energy usage over time.
Connecting renewables to the grid got easier. Solar and other renewable energy projects in Minnesota have frequently stalled at the point where projects connect to the grid. Fresh Energy has been leading work for several years to remove costs and red tape in the process by updating the state’s interconnection standards.
Reporting requirement for solar farm vegetation enacted. The legislature passed a ground cover reporting requirement for solar farms due to Fresh Energy’s advocacy work.
Rooftop solar incentive program launched. In 2019, Xcel Energy began its first-ever income-eligible rooftop solar incentive program, which was shaped in large part by Fresh Energy’s advocacy.
Energy disclosure ordinance passed. City of Minneapolis councilmembers passed a historic, city-wide ordinance requiring multifamily building owners to better track energy usage in their buildings, and also calls for home sellers and landlords to provide prospective buyers and renters access to energy information before they move in.
Renewable natural gas pilot denied. Fresh Energy successfully argued against CenterPoint Energy’s pilot to offer renewable natural gas from landfills, sewage, and livestock manure to their customers.
Fresh Energy's major programmatic goals are as follows: 1) Secure a transformational commitment on carbon-free electricity with bold action implemented by 2030 and 100% carbon-free electricity by mid-century, 2) Center equity and eliminate disparities as the transition to clean energy moves forward, 3) Secure meaningful actions toward a 45% carbon-free economy by 2030 and net carbon neutral by 2050, 4) Reduce the carbon impact of the built environment, and 5) Shine a light on the transition to clean energy, elevate diverse interests driving progress, and create the conditions for effective advocacy, with editorially independent reporting.
Community or Constituency Served
Fresh Energy’s work benefits the health and prosperity of communities throughout Minnesota. Minnesota’s practical and forward thinking energy policy regularly serves as a model for other states to adopt similar laws to benefit their communities.
Geographic Area Served
Twin cities metro and greater Minnesota/midwest region.