Minnesota wind generation fell in 2023

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data show wind generation in Minnesota fell by 2.8 percent in 2023 compared to 2022, which is more than the 2 percent decline in wind generation observed nationally.

Wind was not the biggest loser, though. Hydroelectric generation fell 25 percent last year, coal fell 21 percent, nuclear fell 19 percent, and biomass fell 1 percent, which you can see in the graph below. Natural gas generation surged 61 percent year-over-year in response to falling coal, nuclear, hydro, and wind generation.

Coal generation was likely down due to Xcel Energy’s misguided decision to run their affordable, reliable plants less frequently, nuclear generation has been impacted by a leak involving mildly radioactive water at the Monticello plant, and ongoing issues are Prairie Island, hydro generation was likely impacted by dry conditions, and wind generation was lower due to lower wind speeds, and probably also due to congestion on the transmission grids resulting in higher levels of curtailment.