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Xcel Was Caught Short By Arctic Cold

The story below from the Star Tribune summarizes a meeting held yesterday at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which was held to determine how well Minnesota’s utility companies weathered the polar vortex that brought bitter cold temperatures to our state at the end of January. In short, it was not a good day for Xcel Energy....

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Watch It Live at 1pm! Minnesota Utilities Testify on Polar Vortex in Front of MN Public Utilities Commission

Want to learn more about the impact of the polar vortex on the energy system in Minnesota? Watch live as Xcel Energy's gas division, Centerpoint Energy, and Great Plains Gas talk about the impact of the bitter cold on natural gas supplies, with Minnesota electric utilities and grid operators to follow....

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Grid Operators Confirm: Wind Didn’t Work During Polar Vortex

The energy world is buzzing today after the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO) released a report stating the wind didn't show up to work during the polar vortex that swept Minnesota on January 29 and 30. Electricity output from wind plummeted due to low wind speeds and because it was "too cold" for the wind turbines to operate. That being said, why on Earth would DFL lawmakers in St. Paul propose legislation mandating more wind turbines? Here are a few choice excerpts from media outlets covering the story with some of my own commentary sprinkled in. From E&E News: "As residents of the Twin Cities awoke...

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Minnesota is Number One! In Expensive and Inefficient Community Solar Installations

The Minnesota Department of Commerce is celebrating the fact that our state has more inefficient, and incredibly expensive Community Solar installations, than any other state in the country. These installations are paid $125 to $135 per megawatt hour of electricity produced, which is four times more than the cost of electricity from coal-fired power plants and twice the cost of electricity from utility-scale solar. Only the Commerce Department, which opposes building Line 3 because it doesn't think our state will need oil in the future, could be so utterly clueless about energy....

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EIA: Extreme Cold in the Midwest Led to High Power Demand and Record Natural Gas Demand

Well, folks.  The results of the Energy Information Administration's autopsy of the January 2019 polar vortex are in and wind fared very poorly, mainly because wind plants were turned off because it was too cold for them to operate safely. The article below is from EIA's Today in Energy series. Extreme cold weather in the Midwest at the end of January led to high—but not record-setting—electricity load on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, the coldest day of the period, on the Midcontinent Independent System Operator(MISO) grid. However, consumption of natural gas, the main fuel used for heating in the region, reached estimated record levels on...

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The Green New Disaster is Coming Early to New York

New York has been anti-fossil fuel for many years, and it is finally starting to catch up with them. The following article originally appeared in the New York Post. New Yorkers experienced the headache caused by Gov. Cuomo’s crusade against natural gas last week, when a public hearing was held to discuss Con Edison’s January announcement that it would institute a moratorium on accepting new gas customers in Westchester County. The Empire State has stymied the construction of the necessary transmission infrastructure, so Con Ed is unable to keep up with demand. In addition to his decision to ban hydraulic fracturing in 2014...

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The Big Problem With Wind, Solar, and Batteries

The following article originally appeared in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. There have been many recent articles in The Daily Sentinel on Xcel's new Colorado Energy Plan related to climate change policy. In addition, the national news has been covering the Green New Deal being proposed by many politicians to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels in the next 10 years. It is ludicrous to think that we could live in a modern society without fossil fuels. Affordable fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and oil have brought more people out of poverty in the modern world than ever before. Nineteenth...

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In the Tank Episode 179

Hello! In this edition of the In the Tank podcast, Donny interviews  Jonathan Williams from ALEC about his organization's latest installment of the Rich States Poor States book. Minnesota does not fair well. Also, we talk about the Supreme Court's unanimous decision to disallow unfair fines and how it pertains to civil asset forfeiture, and we lambaste an incredibly misleading headline by the New York Times on the Green New Deal. https://soundcloud.com/user-694711047/in-the-tank-ep179-rich-states-poor-states-civil-asset-forfeiture-nyt-article-fail...

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Minnesotans Are Not Getting A Deal on Their Electricity Bills

Renewable energy advocates' fixation on bills relative to the national average rather than prices, is a disingenuous slight of hand that allows them to make it seem like Minnesotans are getting a deal on their electric bill, when in reality our bills are only lower than those of residents living in other states because we less electricity than the national average. In short, we're not getting a deal on our electricity. We're paying more for less....

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SF1372 Eliminating Size Limits on Hydropower is Smart Policy

Minnesota passed its 25 percent renewable energy mandate in 2007, but did you know this bill specifically prohibited counting electricity from large hydroelectric dams as a way to comply with the standard? As crazy as this sounds, it is true, and it has had serious negative impacts for Minnesota households. Fortunately, SF 1372 would eliminate the size limit on hydropower for satisfying the renewable energy mandate. This may sound like a small tweak to existing legislation, but this is actually a very big deal. Minnesota currently imports about 7.2 million megawatt hours of electricity from Canada, or about 10 percent of our...

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