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Wind Turbine Owned by Apex Clean Energy Catches Fire in Texas

On March 8th, a wind turbine owned by Apex Clean Energy caught fire in South Texas. Many people don't realize this, but wind turbines require oil to operate. Oil, which is often demonized by wind-energy advocates, is used to reduce friction in the wind turbine. It also keeps the gearbox clean and protects metals surfaces from corrosion, according to Wind Power Engineering. Oil is also flammable. According to an article in a South Texas newspaper: It was a normal lazy Sunday before area fire crews got a call that a wind turbine was on fire on County Road 3683, in between Taft...

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Minnesota Electricity Rates Increased Again in 2019, Reaching New All-Time Highs

Newly-released data from the United States Energy Information Administration show that electricity rates in Minnesota increased again in 2019, reaching new all-time highs. The increase in electricity costs affected all classes of consumers, resulting in higher costs for families, businesses, and factories. It didn't used to be this way. In fact, Minnesota once had electricity prices that were nearly 20 percent below the national average, but since 2005, when Xcel Energy was required to start adding significant amounts of wind on its system, electricity prices have increased by nearly 60 percent, which is about 30 percent more than the national average,...

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Coronavirus-Induced Shortage of Solar Panel Components Highlights China’s Major Role in Solar Supply Chain

Last week, the Star Tribune ran a story about how the Coronavirus has disrupted the global solar panel supply chain, potentially causing the delay of two large solar installations in Wisconsin. The supply-chain interruptions have occurred because of factory shutdowns and travel restrictions in China, highlighting the major role that China has plays in the solar supply chain. According to the article: "Asia, and particularly China, is the globe’s primary supplier of solar cells and panels, and is also a major source of inverters and racking system components. Racks hold solar panels in place; inverters convert panels’ DC current into AC. Also, about...

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Four Takeaways from The Capx2050 Transmission Planning Report

One of the biggest issues for Minnesota's electric grid is the topic of transmission lines. Transmission lines are expensive, and renewable energy sources, especially wind, require a lot more transmission lines than a grid powered by conventional generation resources like natural gas, coal, nuclear, and hydroelectric power. The last round of transmission spending was called CapX2020, which built approximately 800 miles of transmission lines, at a cost of $2 billion, according to a story in the Star Tribune. The transmission lines built as part of the CapX2020 are already full, so a new study called CapX2050 is being conducted to learn how...

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Efforts to Prevent The Walz Administration’s California Car Mandates Advance in the Senate

Today was a step forward for the efforts of conservative lawmakers to prevent the Walz administration from imposing unpopular California car mandates on Minnesotans. Senate File 3496 passed out of the Minnesota Senate's State Government Finance and Policy and Elections Committee. You can watch the hearing on the bill at the link below. https://www.facebook.com/mnsrc/videos/2275278436108528/?comment_id=2275304272772611&notif_id=1583437629234897&notif_t=feedback_reaction_generic   I've previously testified in front of the Senate on this bill, explaining why it would be beneficial for Minnesota consumers. I also detailed that while the costs would be significant, the environmental benefits would be immeasurably small. It is encouraging to see that the Walz administration's attempt to...

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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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Clear Energy Alliance: The EV Dream

Governor Walz wants to adopt California's car mandates requiring that car manufacturers deliver electric vehicles for sale in Minnesota, but this video from the Clear Energy Alliance pours cold water on the frequently-used talking points used to promote these vehicles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaesOIY3I4U&feature=youtu.be...

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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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