August 31, 2020

MnSEIA Endorses Electoral Candidates for the First Time


Press Release - St. Paul, MINN – The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) announced its first-ever slate of endorsed candidates for the Minnesota Legislature.

The MnSEIA Board of Directors endorsed seven solar champions for office in 2020: Senators Senjem, Dibble, and Pratt; Representatives Long and Acomb; and, candidates Ralph Kaehler for the Minnesota Senate and Dan Kessler for the Minnesota House. 

David Shaffer, the Executive Director of MnSEIA, made the following statements about the seven candidates MnSEIA endorsed:

“We selected champions of solar legislation that have consistently led the charge to move solar forward regardless of party affiliation. MnSEIA’s endorsements are meant to show our state that the solar industry is big enough to be engaged politically and to impact elections, as well as to show Minnesotans what members of the state legislature care about.”

“Senator Dave Senjem has applied his deep sense of service to the future of energy in Minnesota. His travels to Germany over the last decade have informed his outlook on renewable energy, which he knows to be the future. He has been instrumental on a number of pro-solar bills in the last few years. We look forward to advancing solar policy with him in the years to come.”

“Senator Scott Dibble always has an eye toward how the work of the legislature impacts the social contract and those marginalized by it. His work on solar legislation is no different, as he has been a long-time advocate for solar on schools, low-income solar programs, and the intersection of energy and transportation policy. We believe he will continue to work tirelessly for a better energy future.”

“Senator Eric Pratt knows what many of our member companies know—that solar makes good business sense. He likes to run with good ideas when he sees them. For example, he authored a bill to explore the best practices to install solar arrays on landfills, and another bill that helps commercial property owners finance solar through PACE loans. Senator Pratt is very conscious of the job-creation potential of solar. He believes in the competitiveness of renewables in today’s energy market.”

“Representative Jamie Long’s background in energy law and policy has served him well as Vice Chair of the House Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Committee. His thorough understanding of how our energy systems work means that he can champion even the most complex pro-solar legislation. We look forward to working with Representative Long to find new avenues for growth in the solar industry.”

“As Chair of the Climate Action Caucus, Representative Patty Acomb has made renewables a key plank of her legislative career. Her experience with solar predates her time in the legislature. When she was a Council Member for the City of Minnetonka, she saved local taxpayers thousands of dollars by pushing the City to subscribe to community solar gardens. Her continued focus on energy and climate justice will serve her constituents well.”

“Ralph Kaehler will be an excellent addition to the Minnesota Senate. His pragmatic approach to problem solving has served him well as a solar business owner and farmer, and will help him serve his constituents too. He knows community solar inside and out and he understands the technology, since he works in the solar energy industry. His detailed knowledge of solar deployment is important for a just, safe, reliable and rapid transition to renewables. St. Paul needs more voices like Kaehler’s.”

“Dan Kessler will bring a strong voice for science to the Minnesota House. He is able to draw on his background as a health professional to connect personal health to environmental health and to our energy systems. He sees solar as part of the solution, and he lives his values. He’s clearly a driven candidate who will help move energy policy in the right direction once elected.”


About MnSEIA:

MnSEIA is a member-driven 501(c)(6) nonprofit that promotes and protects Minnesota’s solar and storage industries. We advocate in the state legislative and regulatory arenas in a unified and actionable way to move solar + storage forward. Find out more at

Media Contact:

Abbi Morgan, Director of Business Development & Communications