U.S. Secretary of Energy visits Northland to highlight solar gardens

Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 5:03 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - The nation’s top energy official was in the Northland to highlight the White House’s investments in clean, affordable energy.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm visited Duluth Wednesday alongside Senator Tina Smith and Mayor Emily Larson to tour the Lincoln Park Solar Garden.

For the past three years, the solar panels have provided electricity for a veterans housing unit and other community members struggling to pay their utility bills.

Granholm says not only do solar gardens like the one in Lincoln Park help economically, but environmentally too.

“Certainly there’s a benefit for the planet and of course, we’re in an environment now where we’re seeing these accelerated extreme weather events all caused by climate change and so we want to do our part to lean forward and address that,” she explains.

Earlier Wednesday, Granholm visited the Heliene Solar Facility, a solar manufacturer, in Mountain Iron.

She celebrated a new partnership between the facility and Nexamp, which she said was made possible by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.

The partnership provides Nexamp access to 1.5GW of modules that will be produced at Heliene’s facility.

Over the next five years, it is expected to create 1,000 new jobs in the region and support the development and construction of approximately 400 community solar gardens nationwide.

In addition, it will deliver clean energy savings to more than a quarter of a million U.S. households while increasing the supply of renewable energy on the grid.

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