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Isaac Orr: Minnesota’s High Electric Bills Will Continue to Rise Higher

This article originally appeared in today's Pioneer Press. The version below is the same text, but with graphics added. Xcel Energy recently unveiled its plan to prematurely retire its coal plants and replace them with billions of dollars’ worth of wind, solar, and most importantly, natural gas. Unfortunately, Xcel’s plan will constitute a large increase in electricity costs for Minnesota families, businesses and schools, and these costs would far exceed any potential environmental benefit. Many people may not realize that Minnesota residential electric bills reached a new all-time high in 2018. In fact, these bills exceeded $103 per month for the first time ever...

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The Case for a Green ‘No Deal’

Those who advocate for Minnesota's "Green New Deal" are not the adults in the room. How can one credibly claim that global warming is an "existential crisis,"  yet refuse to utilize the most reliable, affordable, and scaleable sources of carbon-dioxide free electricity available? I submit that they cannot. But do we need to make a Green New Deal at all? The following article argues that we do not....

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Minnesota’s Third-Largest Wind Farm is Already Losing Steam: Output Falls 14 percent from 2014 Highs

According the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, wind turbines have operational lifetimes of 20 years, but it appears Xcel Energy's Nobles wind project, the third-largest wind farm in Minnesota, is losing steam after just eight. The graph below was produced using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration plant-level data. It shows the electricity generation of the Nobles wind project, which became operational in 2010, through 2018. You'll notice that electricity generation peaked in 2014, and that generation was about 14 percent lower in 2018, compared to the 2014 production levels. It is important to take note of this decline in electricity production...

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Doubling Down on Failure Installment 1: Comparing the Costs of Wind and Solar, Nuclear, and Coal

As you probably know by now, American Experiment has released a new study entitled Doubling Down on Failure, How a 50 percent by 2030 Renewable Energy Standard Would Cost Minnesota $80.2 Billion.   The study is more than 80 pages, including appendices and citations, so I will be breaking down the key findings in more manageable bites on the website. Today, I'll break down the four main energy scenarios we examined and why we chose them....

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Local Media Glosses Over High Cost of Stoneray Wind Farm

A piece in Friday's Pipestone County Star reported that 39 industrial wind turbines with a total capacity of 101 megawatts would be built, comprising the Stoneray Wind Project in eastern Pipestone County and western Murray County.  Unfortuantely, the article reads more like a press release for the wind company, EDF, than a balanced article on project. First of all, there is zero mention of how much this project will cost Minnesota consumers, which is significant. According to the Minnesota Public Utilities filings, this project will cost between $160 to $232 million to construct. Federal tax credits will shield customers from feeling...

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How Installing Wind Energy Increases Electricity Prices

American Experiment has recently launched a billboard campaign highlighting the findings of our study “Energy Policy in Minnesota: The High Cost of Failure,” and we have received some feedback on the report and the corresponding billboard campaign: After reading through some of this feedback, there are still some misconceptions that can be clarified about the impact of wind energy and electricity prices. Many people believe that adding wind power to the grid reduces the cost of electricity because there are no fuel costs for wind turbines. It is true that wind has no fuel cost, however this is only a very small...

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