Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Connexus Energy Becomes Nation’s First Electric Co-Op to Bilk Its Members With Solar Plus Storage, Hooray!

Connexus Energy has become the first electric co-op in the country to bilk its 130,000 owner-members by forcing them to pay $31 million in additional costs for unneeded solar plus battery storage.

Hooray!

I’ve written about this project before, and as a reminder, the two solar gardens being built will have a whopping 10 MW of capacity, which is the equivalent of 0.056 percent of the installed electricity generating capacity in the state. The batteries will be able to feed 15 MW into the grid at a time and store 30 MWH of electricity, enough for two whole hours! Whoopee!

It would be one thing if the members of the co-op wanted more renewables, and were willing to pay higher prices for the privilege, but according to a story in MPR, that was not the case:

A few years ago, Connexus polled its membership to find out if people wanted more renewable energy. The answer, overwhelmingly, was yes. But most people didn’t want to pay more for it.

Connexus claims the plan will ultimately save money its members about $4 million per year by allowing them to feed electricity to the grid when the cost for power is highest, but I am skeptical.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show solar panels in Minnesota only generate about 15 percent of their rated capacity, meaning the 10 MW solar displays will probably generate about 1.5 MW of energy. Maybe the panels generate enough power to fully charge the batteries, maybe they don’t.

However, the co-op could probably save more money by foregoing the solar and only purchasing battery storage. The co-op could then participate in energy arbitrage, which is just a fancy way of saying they would buy power from the grid when prices are lowest, generally when demand is low during the night, and then feed it into the grid at peak demand to reduce the charges incurred by its members.

Ultimately, this project is about ribbon cutting and making people feel warm fuzzy feelings about investing in solar energy. In my opinion, it’s a solar-powered dumpster fire. Richard Painter would be proud!

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • YLC Curling Event

    Location: Chaska Curling Center 3210 Chaska Blvd, Chaska, MN 55318

    Grab your broom and stone and join the Young Leadership Council for an evening of Curling at the Chaska Curling Center! $40 registration includes: Instruction Ice time and equipment Appetizers (Curling Center Bar will be available to purchase drinks) The event will begin with 15-20 minutes of classroom instruction on curling rules and basics followed by 20-30 minutes on the ice for practice and drills. Instructors will be on hand the whole evening to guide your games. Dress Code: Bring a pair of clean-on-the-bottom shoes to change into. No leather soles or metal lace hooks Loose fitting or strechy clothes…

    Register Now
  • The Diversity Delusion

    Location: Hilton Minneapolis 1001 South Marquette Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, April 24th at the Hilton Hotel for a lunch forum with Heather Mac Donald as she discusses her new book, The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture.  Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and a New York Times bestselling author. She is a recipient of the 2005 Bradley Prize. Mac Donald’s work at City Journal has covered a range of topics, including higher education, immigration, policing, homelessness and homeless advocacy, criminal-justice reform, and race…

    Register Now
  • 2019 Annual Dinner Featuring Nigel Farage

    Location: Hilton Minneapolis 1001 South Marquette Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Purchase Tickets Here

    Register Now