Solar Minnesota is a working group that exists for the open sharing of knowledge and ideas between all stakeholders and interested participants to solar and clean energy in Minnesota. It started over 10 years ago with only 4-5 members. It is now lead by Jack Kluempke of the Department of Commerce and has an average of 30-40 participants at each meeting and a mailing list of over 200.
Participants vary widely and include industry players, advocates, regulatory members, and interested civilians who want to learn more about solar. Government agencies such as the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI), the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regularly attend, as well as the utilities Xcel Energy and Minnesota Power. This wide variety of participants is vital because it provides the opportunity for industry players to give and receive feedback from government agencies and utilities and for parties to explain their positions on specific topics. This open dialogue has proved positive in the past and helps create beneficial partnerships.
MnSEIA participates in these meetings on a regular basis which gives us the opportunity to share our message and interact with non-members. This ensures more perspectives are heard and taken into consideration and that MnSEIA can reach a larger audience. It also gives us another opportunity to speak with government agencies and utilities and hear their perspective on issues.
MnSEIA has formed many important connections through this group and will continue to participate in order to represent our members' interests and support the solar industry.