Media: Our View: It's time to weigh DMC energy options (PostBulletin)

Aug 5, 2015

From PostBulletin:

As debate heats up regarding President Barack Obama's clean power plan, green-energy efforts are taking root in Destination Medical Center.

By embracing a plan to study energy-use options for two key districts of the initiative, the DMC Corp. board is heeding the call of many residents who want to see the city become a leader in energy policy.

The call was obvious in the first minutes of the board's meeting last week. State Sen. Dave Senjem pointed to a renewable energy policy exchange gathering he recently attended. The Rochester Republican said DMC efforts can benefit from other cities already doing similar work.

Anna Richey, the local Conservation Minnesota representative, followed up with a petition from about 120 area residents showing support for sustainability options, and Sierra Club representative Andrea Kiepe pointed to a recent Rochester Public Utilities survey indicating 90 percent of residential customers and 82 percent of commercial customers think it's important the city-run utility is a leader in alternative energy.

"The results of this survey show unequivocally that the people of Rochester and the businesses of Rochester are ready to move forward with sustainability," Kiepe said.

Such support provided a clear path for the Center for Energy and Environment. With the support of the DMCC board, the McKnight Foundation grantee will analyze existing conditions and work with local stakeholders in the coming months to identify ways to approach energy needs as DMC efforts progress.

As CEE President Sheldon Strom noted, Rochester is in the ideal position to see changes. RPU's newly updated resource plan already establishes compatible goals, and the public support is high.

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