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Associated Press, Published May 31 2013

New Minn. solar law boost to fledgling industry

ROYALTON, Minn. — A new Minnesota law requires investor-owned utilities like Xcel Energy to generate more electricity from solar power could mean opportunities for home and business owners willing to mount panels on their property.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed the new solar mandate last week. It requires utilities to get 1.5 percent of their electricity from solar by 2020. The St. Cloud Times reports Friday that Xcel and other utilities opposed the mandate saying it makes them go faster than what makes sense given the current solar market.

But it could be an opportunity for farmers like Doug and Jane Popp, who own a farm near Royalton. Their grain bin is powered by a 10-kilowatt solar array they installed on their property.

The law requires that utilities get a portion of the solar from small installations like the Popps'.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.