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Despite More Turbines, Minnesota Wind Production in 2019 Was Still Below 2017 Levels

If you build them, the wind won't necessarily come. I've recently reported that wind facilities in Minnesota produced less electricity in 2018 than 2017, and newly-released data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows electricity generation from Minnesota wind facilities was about one percent less in 2019 than 2017, although 2019 saw more generation from wind turbines than 2018. The decline, relative to 2017 generation, occurred despite the fact that there are about 3.6 percent more wind generation capacity installed in Minnesota today (3,843 megawatts) than there were at the end of 2017 (3,699 megawatts), according to the U.S. Department of Energy's...

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Xcel Energy Provides Strong Testimony Against the Community Solar Program

I have a lot of policy disagreements with Xcel Energy, but I firmly believe it is important to give credit when credit is due. The video below is from last week, and it shows Rick Evans of Xcel Energy testifying about the huge inefficiencies related to the Community Solar program. Evans makes many of the same arguments Center of the American Experiment makes about wind and solar every day. https://youtu.be/I-jPAY1wL-4?t=3431 Evans states: "Our customers are required to pay triple the cost of solar energy, in an unlimited quantity, that comes on to our system regardless of whether we need it or not. First of...

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Senator Rarick Cites American Experiment’s Mining Research in the Mitchell Hamline Law Journal of Public Policy and Practice

We're delighted to report that Senator Jason Rarick (R) cited American Experiment's research on copper nickel mining in Minnesota in his piece to the Mitchell Hamline School of Law Journal of Public Policy and Practice.  You can read the piece below. The future of mining on the Iron Range has taken a couple of hits in the last month. At the end of December, at the behest of Ramsey County Congresswoman Betty McCollum and environmental activists, a federal spending bill gave the State Department 60 days for another review of the potential effects of Twin Metals’ proposed copper-nickel mine in the Boundary...

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Minnesota Ranked as 4th Biggest Mining State in 2019

Many people in the Twin Cities are vaguely aware of the fact that Minnesota mines iron ore, but few understand the scale or importance of mining to the communities who develop our iron ore resources, or the important implications it has for our country. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Minerals Commodities Survey, Minnesota leapfrogged California to become the 4th largest mining state in the country, based on the value of minerals sold. The primary minerals mined were iron ore, lime, sand and gravel (construction), sand and gravel, (industrial), and crushed stone. Minnesota improved one spot in the ranks compared...

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Tune in at 1pm As Isaac Orr Testifies (Again) on Governor Walz’s California Car Mandates

The Minnesota Senate has introduced a bill that would expressly prohibit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) from adopting California's controversial car mandates and they have asked me to testify on the bill. In short, the bill scales back the authority of the MPCA to set maximum emissions standards for motor vehicles in Minnesota, effectively removing any ability for the MPCA to force Minnesotans to obey the dictates of unelected bureaucrats in California. Tune in to my testimony by clicking here.  ...

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Federal Data Confirms Minnesota Solar Panels Don’t Work Well in Winter

Recently-released data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) confirms what many of us already knew, that solar panels don't work well in our Minnesota winters. The data is interesting because this is the first time EIA has shown the productivity (or capacity factor) of solar panels on a monthly basis, as you can see in the graph below. While solar panels generated nearly 30 percent of their potential output in July of 2018, electricity generation from Minnesota's solar fleet dropped to 5.6 percent by December. There are multiple reasons for this. One, the days get a lot shorter in the winter...

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Why Is Governor Walz Trying to Mandate Cars That Nobody Wants?

Last week, I testified before a joint hearing of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Finance Committee about the Walz administration's desire to force Minnesotans to comply with California's car mandates for low emission vehicles (LEVs) and zero emission vehicles (ZEVs). During their testimonies, advocates of these new mandates claimed they are needed because there is a huge demand for some models of electric vehicles (EVs) that are not currently offered Minnesota, and that they would be offered here if the mandates went into effect. However, survey data from CleanTechnica.com, which is a website dedicated to promoting renewables and electric vehicles, shows...

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Why Did Minnesota Solar Jobs Fall by Six Percent in 2019?

We're constantly told that solar is the energy source of the future, and that we need not worry about rising electricity prices and the loss of jobs in the mining, manufacturing, timber, and agriculture industries because of the booming solar economy. It appears that narrative suffered a setback this week. According to the Star Tribune, the number of solar jobs fell in 2019 by 267 jobs, or 6 percent relative to 2018 numbers. This brought the number of solar jobs in the state to 4,335 in 2019.  The article did not offer an explanation for the fall in solar jobs, but it can...

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