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Production at Nobles Wind Facility Continues to Plummet

Earlier this year, I wrote about how the Nobles Wind project, which is the third-largest wind facility in Minnesota, is already losing steam. The most recent data from the Energy Information Administration (which runs through September) show that 2019 hasn't been kind to the project, either. Thus far, the Nobles wind project has a capacity factor of just 33.9, which is far below where it has been in previous years, according to the table below. In fact, the capacity factor (a measure of productivity) of this wind facility is about 10 percent lower this year compared to 2014. This has important implications...

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Mitchell South Dakota: Home of The Corn Palace and Wind Turbine Blade Landfill Exhibit?

Mitchell, South Dakota is famous for the corn palace, but it appears the community is also known among wind companies as a place to dispose of wind turbine blades that are no longer useful. According to the Mitchell Republic: "Who will take the old, unrecyclable blades that are being replaced on South Dakota’s wind turbines? The city of Mitchell is positioning to take those in, and a Davison County board gave a Mitchell business approval to dismantle blades Tuesday. Bob Ball, who runs H&R Salvage of Mitchell, is in the business of destroying blades, something he says he’s already doing with success...

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100 Percent Wind+Solar+Batteries= $1,036.80 Monthly Electric Bill, According to An Xcel Energy Slide Show and EIA Data

In April of this year, Gov. Tim Walz's administration suggested the economics of nuclear power likely make it too expensive to be part of his plan to produce 100 percent of Minnesota’s electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050. Instead, the administration argued technological improvements would allow wind, solar, and battery storage technology to reliably and affordably meet Minnesota’s energy needs. A slide show produced by Xcel Energy suggests the Governor couldn't be more wrong. This slideshow was presented to the Midwestern Governor's Association meeting in March of 2019. One would assume someone from the Governor's office would be at the meeting, but just in...

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You’re Seeing Water Vapor, Not Smoke

You probably saw billowing clouds on your way to work this morning. It's important to know that these clouds are water vapor, and not smoke. The reason for this occurrence is because of a scientific process called condensation. When you exhale when it's cold outside, the water vapor in your breath condenses into lots of tiny droplets of liquid water and ice (solid water) that you can see in the air as a cloud, similar to fog. The same thing occurs with the exhaust from your chimney if you use natural gas for home heating because burning natural gas produces two...

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Turkey Point Nuclear Plant Will Operate for 80 Years, While Wind Turbines Still Last for 20 Years

According to the Daily Energy Insider, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved Florida Power & Light’s proposal to add an additional 20 years of operation for the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Units 3 and 4 near Miami, Florida. This is the first time the NRC has approved renewed licenses for operation extending the lifetime of a nuclear plant from 60 to 80 years, but it may well be the beginning of several companies seeking longer operating licenses for their existing nuclear facilities. As a result of the renewal, Turkey Point Unit 3’s renewed license now expires on July 19, 2052....

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American Experiment Submits 27 Pages of Comments Opposing the California Car Mandates

Last Friday, Center of the American Experiment submitted comments opposing Governor Walz's attempt to force Minnesota to comply with California's Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) and Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) car mandates. The comments, which span 27 pages, highlight several reasons why the California mandates are bad news for Minnesota....

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It’s National Miners Day- Thank A Miner

On National Miners Day, America honors the 325,000 men and women who work in nearly 13,000 surface and underground mines across the United States. Throughout Minnesota's history, the miners of our state have worked tirelessly to supply our state, and country, with the metals and minerals that are indispensable to our daily lives. Mining is part of Minnesota's history and heritage. During World War II, Minnesota’s miners labored tirelessly over 16-hour days to provide the iron ore that became the ships, aircraft, and rifles used win the war. Today, Minnesota produces 85 percent of the iron ore mined in the United States, making...

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Are Liberal Minnesota Energy Policies Making Pollution Worse?

Improving Minnesota's air quality is often used as justification for mandating wind and solar on our electric grid, and now groups like Fresh Energy want to ban the use of natural gas for heating new buildings. However, there is a very persuasive argument to be made that these policies will actually result in making Minnesota's air quality worse. First of all, it's important to note that Minnesota's air is already very clean. The graph below is from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and it shows Minnesota meets federal air quality standards for ozone, fine particles, lead, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide,...

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I’ll See You in Kiester Tonight!

Tonight I will be in Kiester, Minnesota to talk about the high cost of wind and solar power as part of Center of the American Experiment's continued mission to reach the people of Greater Minnesota with free market ideas. I'll be presenting to a group of citizens who are concerned about the costs of wind turbines and transmission lines being built in their area and discussing the findings of our award winning research Doubling Down on Failure, How a 50 Percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion. With high-pressure land acquisition specialists circling the area, it has never...

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Reactions to Proposed Rate Increases Shows Minnesota Citizen’s Utility Board Cares More about Renewables Than Ratepayers

There is no reason for CUB to be more upset about Minnesota Power’s rate increase than Xcel Energy's. I submit that the reason CUB is less forgiving of Minnesota Power's smaller rate increase is that the organization cares about renewables first, and ratepayers second....

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