Minnesota Supply Chain Report

Duluth News Tribune: Minnesota Has 100-Plus Renewable Energy Businesses

Duluth News Tribune

Feb 2, 2017

Minnesota has 100-plus renewable energy businesses
By John Myers 

While efforts are underway in Washington and St. Paul to roll-back solar and wind energy efforts and return to a coal-and-oil future for domestic energy, a Minnesota group says renewable energy is creating thousands of jobs in the state.

Minnesota now has more than 100 companies serving wind power and solar energy markets in manufacturing, financing, designing, engineering, installing and maintaining renewable energy projects, according to a study released Thursday by the Environmental Law & Policy Center.

The report identified 82 companies involved in the solar power supply chain and 49 companies involved in the wind energy supply chain.

That includes wind-involved companies like Minnesota Power/Allete and Ventura Wind in Duluth as well as solar-involved companies like Energy Conservation Services in Carlton, Silicon Energy in Mountain Iron, Harvest Energy Solutions in Duluth and Conservation Technologies in Hermantown.

“When a new solar installation or wind farm is built in Minnesota, the economic impact of that project goes well beyond the community that will be delivered the construction jobs and new tax revenue from the project, there can be a web of economic activity that extends across the state,” Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center, said in a statement. “Wind power and solar energy development drives economic and job growth. Every renewable energy project requires engineering, financial, manufacturing and construction businesses and workers.”

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NEW REPORT: Minnesota Home to Well-Over 100 Wind, Solar Supply Chain Companies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2017

Contact: David Jakubiak

MinnDakota_blue_with_moon

Minnesota Renewable Energy Sector Holds 100+ Businesses
Renewable Energy Investments Bring Business Growth Throughout the State

ST. PAUL, MN – More than 100 Minnesota companies serve wind power and solar energy markets, providing jobs to people across the state who are manufacturing, financing, designing, engineering, installing and maintaining renewable energy projects here and across the region, a study released today by the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) found.

“When a new solar installation or wind farm is built in Minnesota, the economic impact of that project goes well beyond the community that will be delivered the construction jobs and new tax revenue from the project, there can be a web of economic activity that extends across the state,” said Howard Learner, Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “Wind power and solar energy development drives economic and job growth. Every renewable energy project requires engineering, financial, manufacturing and construction businesses and workers.”

The report identified 82 companies involved in the solar power supply chain and 49 companies involved in the wind energy supply chain. The report identified companies through an analysis of industry group lists that included confirmation of each company’s supply chain role.

Minnesota Minority Leader Rep. Melissa Hortman lauded the robust growth of the state’s renewable energy sector. “Across Minnesota, the benefits of building renewable energy projects are clear. Companies have brought job opportunities and made investments in local communities where they are constructing renewable energy projects,” said Rep. Hortman. “Minnesota’s economy has benefited because our state is the Midwest’s pre-eminent leader in renewable energy policy. We should not take steps that threaten to roll back our progress or reduce jobs and economic growth in our renewable energy sector.”

For businesses involved in the installation and construction of wind and solar projects, increased renewable energy development results in increased economic activity in the communities where they operate.

“When most people think about renewable energy jobs they only think about construction,” said John Brand, Chief Financial Officer with Juhl Energy, which is based in Chanhassen. “But when you are developing a large project, like our MidGrid Solar/Wind Hybrid Project in Red Lake Falls, it all starts with landowners, legal and engineering professionals, and local consultants. Then there are the local partners, in Red Lake Falls where we’re working with the local economic development office.”

Scott Strand, senior attorney with ELPC in Minnesota, noted that current efforts in the state legislature could create new hurdles for renewable energy development in the state. “As they consider moving forward with efforts to slow rural solar and prioritize a new fossil fuel plant, legislators should know those actions may impact businesses in their home districts.”

“Minnesota’s solar energy policy leadership is helping grow more supply chain businesses throughout the state,” added Learner.

Download the report at: www.elpc.org/MinnesotaSupplyChain

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