fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Minnesota Plans to Retire 1,829 MW of Coal and Replace it with 7,200 MW of Wind, Solar, and Gas

There may not be a better way to demonstrate how expensive and ineffective Minnesota’s energy policies are than to point out that utility companies plan on retiring approximately 1,800 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired power plants and replacing this capacity with 7,200 MW of wind, solar, and natural gas.

In other words, utility companies believe they will need to build four times as much electricity generating capacity to replace the coal plants they are retiring. This will be incredibly expensive.

According to utility companies’ annual reports, Xcel EnergyOtter Tail Power CompanyMinnesota Power, and Great River Energy plan on adding 3,250 MW of wind energy and 1,750 MW of solar energy to Minnesota’s energy market. In addition to those investments, these utility companies must also build 2,200 MW of natural gas-fired power plants to “back up” renewable energy sources when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining.

Wind energy advocates like to pretend that wind is the least expensive form of electricity, but in reality it is more expensive than our current electric fleet because wind turbines only generate about 33 percent of their potential capacity. As a result, our energy system needs to “overbuild” wind generation capacity to make up the difference. On top of that, we need to build reliable power plants–i.e., natural gas–as backups.

In the end, we all pay much more to keep our lights on.

Isaac Orr is a Policy Fellow, and Mitchell Rolling is an intern, at Center of the American Experiment.

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast: St. Cloud

    Location: Coyote Moon Grille 480 55th Ave SE, St. Cloud, MN 56304

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, October 16that Coyote Moon Grille for breakfast with Center policy fellow and energy expert, Isaac Orr. Following his discussion of his new report, “Doubling Down on Failure,” Isaac will be joined by a panel of local leaders for a conversation about renewable energy standards in Minnesota. Wednesday, October 16, 2019 Coyote Moon Grille, 480 55th Ave SE, St. Cloud, MN 56304 7:30 AM Breakfast & Check-in 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude Free, RSVP Here

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast: Mankato

    Location: Mankato Golf Club, 100 August Drive, Mankato, MN 56002

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Thursday, October 17that the Mankato Golf Club for breakfast with Center economist, John Phelan, as he discusses Minnesota’s economic future. Thursday, October 17, 2019 Mankato Golf Club 100 August Drive, Mankato, MN 56002 7:30 AM Breakfast & Check-in 8:00 AM Presentation 9:00 AM Conclude Free, RSVP Here

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast: Alexandria

    Location: Alexandria Golf Club 2300 North Nokomis Northeast Alexandria, MN 56308

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, September 25th at the Alexandria Golf Club for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert, Catrin Wigfall, as she explains the Center’s “Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree” project. Following her presentation on workforce development issues, Catrin will be joined by a panel of local leaders to discuss how Alexandria can better attract and retain young talent. Wednesday, September 25, 2019 Alexandria Golf Club 2300 North Nokomis NE, Alexandria, MN 56308 8:00 AM Breakfast & Check-in 8:30 AM Presentation 9:30 AM Conclude Free, RSVP Here

    Register Now