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Otter Tail Power Will Build 50 Megawatts of Solar, But Its Electricity Will Come from Coal and Gas in the Dakotas

Otter Tail Power Company (OTP), the smallest electric utility in the state of Minnesota, will build 50 megawatts of solar near their soon-to-be retired Hoot Lake coal facility. The Fergus Falls Journal reports the facility will include around 170,000 solar panels and generate enough electricity to power about 10,000 homes each year, but by my calculations, based on federal data on electricity usage and factoring in Minnesota's unproductive solar panels, the number would be closer to 6,750 OTP customers. Either way, it doesn't really matter, because the vast majority of OTP's power will be shipped in from coal and natural gas...

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In The Tank Ep259: Yes, Biden Wants to Ban Fracking

The Heartland Institute's Donald Kendal, Justin Haskins, and Jim Lakely are joined by Isaac Orr in episode 259 of the In The Tank Podcast. Lately, there has been a lot of talk about whether or not Biden wants to ban fracking. Despite Biden’s statements on the matter, his energy proposals show he is in favor of banning this extremely important process. Also, why are the media now claiming the riots are Trump’s fault? The ITT discusses these topics and more. https://youtu.be/tlTXhx_xEi8...

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Xcel’s Electric Vehicle Scheme Will Give Wealthy Liberals More of Your Money

Last weekend, the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote an article about Xcel Energy's plans to increase the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road by giving rebates of up to $2,500 to people who purchase EVs. These rebates, which would most likely be paid to wealthy urban liberals, would be paid for using your money. Xcel Energy is NOT a Private Company It's always important to remember that Xcel isn't really a private business, they are a government approved monopoly. As an Xcel customer, you have no freedom to choose another provider if you want to shop around for a better deal....

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Anti-Mining Special Interest Groups Are Trying to Kill Coal To Stop Mining in Minnesota

Yesterday the Minneapolis Star Tribune featured an article discussing how Minnesota Power, an investor owned electric utility in northern Minnesota, was relieved that the state's iron ore mines were starting production back up after being idled due to low demand as a result of the pandemic. The families of 1,700 miners are also relieved the mines are reopening because the wages paid by Minnesota's iron mines are some of the highest in the state. But these jobs are at risk of leaving if it becomes too expensive to mine in Minnesota, and affordable electricity plays a big part in that equation. As...

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Jason Isaac: ERCOT’s Phantom Reserve Margins Spell Trouble for Summertime

Texas is often held up as an example by wind advocates of the free market choosing wind. These talking points may appear to be persuasive, but there are three main problems with this logic. Wind in Texas is still driven largely by federal subsidies. These subsidies allow wind turbine operators to make money even if the price of electricity is negative. Texas families and businesses were forced to pay $7 billion to build a transmission line from the windy panhandle to the populated areas of the state, amounting to another giant subsidy. Texas came very close to blackouts last summer,...

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The Biggest Incentive for Solar in Minnesota

Did you know that the biggest subsidy for solar is hidden on your electric bill? While Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are trying to extend the federal solar subsidies, here in Minnesota, a policy called net metering serves as the biggest stealth subsidy that solar receives. The impact of this sizable subsidy was spelled out in a recent article in the Mankato Free Press, although I don't think the reporter realized this at the time. The piece begins with a feel-good story of an insurance company that put solar panels on their roof: "Thomas Rekstein no longer minds looking at the...

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A Conservative Vision for Energy Policy in Minnesota

Last week, Ben Gerber, who is a board member for the Minnesota Conservative Energy Forum (MNCEF) took to the pages of The Minnesota Reformer, which is likely the most progressive outlet in the state, in an attempt to defend his positions on energy policy. In his article, which I encourage you to read, Mr. Gerber argues that MNCEF, and not Center of the American Experiment, is the group that opposes heavy-handed government solutions. But this claim is incorrect, as I spell out in my reply below. I am told may be run on the Reformer's website at some date in the future. The...

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Dislike Wind and Solar? Support Advanced Nuclear Power! Action Requested Today

Did you know that a new generation of small-scale advanced nuclear reactors that are smaller and safer than traditional power plants is on the horizon? This is good news. I firmly believe that the only source of electricity generation that will someday be able to beat fossil fuels in terms of reliability and affordability will be advanced nuclear reactors. One reason nuclear power is probably the future is because of the energy density of nuclear fuel. The fission of 1 g of uranium or plutonium per day liberates about 1 MW. This is the energy equivalent of 3 tons of coal or about 600 gallons of fuel oil...

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House Democrats Propose Billions In Additional Subsidies for Wind, Solar, and Electric Cars

Advocates of wind and solar power often argue that wind and solar power are now the lowest cost sources of electricity on the market, making them more competitive than fossil fuels and nuclear power. If this is true, why do the wind and solar industries keep asking for more subsidies? The answer, of course, is that wind and solar are entirely dependent upon the government subsidizing and mandating these products. Subsidies are so important to the wind industry that many companies stop taking good care of their turbines once the facilities are no longer eligible for the subsidies, according to an analysis...

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