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Xcel Energy Electricity Bills Will Increase $50 This Year Due to Renewable Energy

Xcel Energy is seeking to increase your electricity prices by 4.736 percent in order to pay for an additional $101.8 million in spending on wind projects between 2019 and 2020. This will cause the average family with Xcel Energy to pay about $52 more in 2020 than they did in 2018. As a result, these families would pay the highest electricity bills they have ever paid....

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How the Renewable Energy Grinch Stole Your Christmas Budget

Christmas is a time where friends and families come together to appreciate each other during the holidays. However, Christmas can also be a stressful period of time, especially for parents, because of the impact holiday spending has on their finances. Unfortunately, this financial stress has been exacerbated by Minnesota’s mandates for renewable energy which have driven up the cost of electricity. Minnesota families used to have electricity prices that were nearly 20 percent below the national average, but this changed dramatically beginning in 2005 when Xcel Energy was first required to add renewables to their system. The trend became even more...

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Grid Operator Study Shows Complexity of Integrating Renewables Increases Exponentially After 30 Percent

The grid operator for the region including Minnesota, the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO), recently released it's study examining the complexity of integrating renewable energy onto the grid. The findings show that it becomes exponentially more difficult to integrate renewable energy into the regional grid as the amount of renewable energy increases beyond 30 percent, as you can see in the graph below. This is important, because it clearly shows that the challenges of integrating intermittent renewable energy sources like wind are not, in fact, overblown, as the Star Tribune editorial board argued earlier this year. In reality, these challenges have...

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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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NREL Data: There’s Virtually No Demand for Voluntary Renewable Energy Programs

I often hear that there is a massive demand for wind and solar power among utility customers, but if this were true, one would expect participation in programs like Xcel Energy's Windsource and Renewable Connect to be off the charts. However, according to data compiled by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), almost no one enrolls in these voluntary programs. For example, NREL data show Xcel Energy sold 424,589 megawatt hours (MWh) of voluntary renewable energy in 2017. That may sound like a lot, but it accounts for just 1.39 percent of all the electricity Xcel sells in Minnesota. When you consider the fact that Xcel Energy...

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Mass Decommissioning of German Wind Turbines Could Cost Hundreds of Millions of Euro More than Planned, Overwhelm Disposal Capacity

Germany is often lauded as an example that Minnesota should follow by renewable energy supporters, but it turns out Minnesota isn't the only part of the world that may have an expensive tab to pick up once their wind turbines reach the end of their 20 year useful lifetime. A new study from the German Federal Environmental Agency has found that the expected dismantling of thousands of old wind turbines in Germany could overburden the country's recycling capacities and lead to financial difficulties for the turbines' operators as reserves set aside might have been calculated too low, according to Clean Energy...

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WindFail: Congestion on Transmission Lines Hinders New North Dakota Wind Farms

A recent story in the Bismark Tribune states that wind developers in North Dakota are thinking twice about building new industrial wind facilities in the state because there is no room on the transmission lines needed to transport the power to population centers like the Twin Cities. Wind and solar are often built further away from the areas that use the electricity, requiring a massive investment in transmission lines that routinely cost $1 million per mile. The cost of transmission is growing even more as many wind companies seek to build wind turbines in North Dakota and South Dakota, rather than Minnesota,...

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Sunday Funnies: Cobalt Mining in the Congo for Renewable Energy Sources

There's more than a twinge of hypocrisy among liberal environmentalists that want to stop responsible mining for copper, nickel, and cobalt in Minnesota at all costs, yet demand that the state transition to 100 percent carbon free electricity without nuclear or large hydro. Wind and solar power use enormous amounts of copper and nickel and Minnesota has the largest undeveloped reserves of these metals in the world. It's our responsibility to mine them responsibly, not to export environmental damage, and our conscience, to developing countries.  ...

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Justice and Drew: Jamie Long’s Cushy University Job Was Created to Refute American Experiment’s Energy Work

Last week Justice and Drew told it like it is by exposing the fact that Representative Jamie Long's position at the University Minnesota's Institute on the Environment was created to refute American Experiment's work on the high cost of renewable energy in Minnesota. The fact that the liberal McKnight Foundation wanted to launder $50,000 through the University to hire Representative Long shows that the other side knows American Experiment is a big difference in the energy debate, and they are deploying an "all hands on deck" strategy to try and refute our work....

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11 Ways Minnesota Families Are Subsidizing Solar

There is a pervasive fiction that solar is somehow lower cost than other sources of electricity and that this form of energy is competing on a level playing field with sources like coal, nuclear, and natural gas. This notion is a complete fairy tale. Unfortunately, there are a host of renewable energy advocacy groups, some of them who pretend to be conservative, who further this notion and even contend that wind and solar are somehow at a disadvantage relative to more reliable forms of energy due to government intervention. Nothing could be further than the truth. Solar and wind have all...

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