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The Minnesota Department of Commerce's Office of Energy Security has released the first phase of a statewide study of dispersed renewable generation potential, meeting a requirement of the Next Generation Energy Initiative passed by the 2007 legislature. The study's goal was to identify a total of 600 MW of small renewable energy projects that could be operated in the transmission grid with few or no changes required to the existing infrastructure.

Dispersed renewable energy involves wind, solar and biomass projects that will generate between 10 MW and 40 MW of power. The second phase of the study will seek to identify an additional 600 MW of renewable energy and will begin this fall.

The Phase I study was completed by an analytic team led by staff from the Office of Energy Security and Great River Energy in collaboration with the Minnesota electric utilities and the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO). A technical review committee of national, regional and state technical experts representing MISO, wind and community energy advocates, and Minnesota's utilities guided and reviewed the work of the analytic team.

"Without the commitment and creativity of this group of talented transmission engineers and experts, this nation-leading study could not have achieved its goals," says Edward Garvey, director of the Office of Energy Security. "We owe this team our gratitude for Phase I of the study and our encouragement for Phase II, which presents an even greater challenge as they attempt to identify another 600 MW of dispersed renewable energy."

The study can be accessed on the Minnesota Office of Energy Security Web site at energy.mn.gov

SOURCE: Minnesota Department of Commerce

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