Minnesotans send wind power message to Congress

Hailey Colwell


More than 30 elected officials, business groups and environmental advocates signed off on letters Tuesday pushing Minnesota’s Congressional Delegation to maintain two renewable energy tax credits.

The Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit and the Offshore Wind Investment Tax Credit, both of which expire at the end of the year, promote the production of renewable energy and energy efficiency, according to a press release from Environment Minnesota.

If the credits aren’t renewed, a number of wind farm projects across the country will be discarded, according to the release.

Minnesota currently ranks fifth in the U.S. for installed wind power capacity, with 542 megawatts of wind projects added in 2011, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

“Minnesota has become a leader in wind energy because of strong local policies for wind combined with critical federal incentives for clean energy,” said Tim Hultmann, mayor of Long Lake, Minn. in the release.           

Hultmann said though wind power manufacturing accounts for many jobs in the greater Twin Cities metro area, more could be done to expand Minnesota’s wind capacity.          

“To continue moving forward towards a cleaner, healthier future in Minnesota,” he said, “it is important that Congress extends federal incentives for wind energy, including the Production Tax Credit and Investment Tax Credit.”