State Capitol complex to see renewable energy savings

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Lt. Gov. Tina Smith announced new renewable energy program, with Dept. of Administration Commissioner Matt Massman, left, and Xcell Energy Minnesota President Chris Clark. Elizabeth Dunbar|MPR News

Minnesota officials say a new partnership with Xcel Energy will ensure that a third of the power used in key state government buildings comes from renewable sources.

Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith announced the pilot program Wednesday with Xcel Energy-Minnesota president Chris Clark.

If the Public Utilities Commission approves, the program will provide a steady supply of solar and wind-generated power to the buildings that make up the state Capitol Complex. Smith said the program could eventually be expanded to other state and local government facilities.

“This agreement really demonstrates our resolve to continue to meet or greenhouse gas reduction goals,” she said. “It’s the right thing to do. It’s what Minnesotans want us to do, and because in the end it will ultimately save us money.”

Department of Administration Commissioner Matt Massman said the state currently spends about $5 million a year on electricity for the Capitol Complex. Massman said the new 20-year agreement with Xcel will lock in a price on renewables that will save an estimated $100,000 over that period of time.


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