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Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn., has signed a bill that requires Minnesota energy companies to provide 25% of their power from renewable sources to their customers by 2025. The bill was introduced to the Minnesota legislature after receiving a 123-10 House vote and 61-4 Senate vote. (See "Minnesota Renewable Energy Objective Passes House.")

Pawlenty first proposed the 25x'25 goal in his 2006 State of the State address. He renewed the call to advance Minnesota's leadership on renewable energy as part of his Next Generation Energy Initiative unveiled in December 2006 and again in his 2007 State of the State address.

According to state officials, an additional 5,000 MW of energy from renewable sources would be added to Minnesota's electricity resources - roughly eight times more than currently comes from renewables - to meet the mandate. This includes electricity produced by wind turbines, biomass, hydrogen and solar power.

"Rather than stopping here, I hope this bill will provide encouragement for us to tackle the remaining important energy issues in front of us," Pawlenty says. "We can do this in a way that allows for the right response to changing markets, consumer demand and regulatory conditions, and maintains reliability and affordable energy rates and costs."

In addition to the electric utilities' new objective, Xcel Energy, which supplies approximately half of the electricity in Minnesota, is required to provide 30% from renewable sources by 2020.

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