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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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The ECO Act Would Force You To Subsidize Electric Vehicles

Next week, the State Senate will be considering the ECO Act, which would make changes to Minnesota's energy efficiency program, which is called the Conservation Improvement Program, or CIP. There are several positive aspects of this bill, including an important shift away from forcing utility companies to spend more money than they may need to reach their energy efficiency goals. However, there are also provisions of the ECO Act that would force Minnesota families to subsidize electric vehicle (EV) rebates by paying more for their energy each month, and these provisions should not be included in the bill. Our readers strongly oppose...

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U.S. Wind Turbine Output Drops Steeply After Ten Years, When The Subsidies Expire

A newly-released study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) drops an enormous bombshell on wind energy in the United States. The study, which was published in the peer-reviewed, scientific journal Joule, examines production decline data from 917 wind facilities throughout the United States, and found that wind turbines become 13 percent less productive by the time they are 17 years old, and that most of the decline in production occurs after year ten, which just so happens to be the time frame when the projects are no longer eligible for federal subsidies. It's All About the Subsidies, Baby! Wind power is entirely dependent upon...

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Rob Port Podcast: “The Plant is Worthless Without the Power Line.”

Last week, Great River Energy (GRE) announced they would be shutting down the Coal Creek power plant decades before the end of the plant's useful life. This decision was confusing, because as far as coal plants go, Coal Creek is one of the most productive, and lowest-cost generators in the entire United States, according to S&P Global. GRE has claimed they are open to selling the plant, but have not found any buyers. It appears this is because GRE wants to keep the large, high voltage power line that transports the electricity generated in North Dakota to customers in Minnesota, but...

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Great River Energy’s Coal Creek Closure Reliant Upon $105 Million in Taxpayer Subsidies Per Year

Last week, Great River Energy (GRE), a large umbrella company for many of Minnesota's electric co-ops, announced they would be prematurely closing the Coal Creek power plant at the end of 2022 and replacing it with a mixture of wind power purchase contracts from 1,100 megawatts (MW) of newly-constructed wind projects, and buying electricity from other companies when the wind isn't blowing. GRE has said its will be a boon for its customers. However, this plan relies heavily on $105 million in annual federal tax subsidies, which simply shift the costs from Great River Energy's customers, to tax payers. In the...

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Federal Coronavirus Spending Excludes Renewable Energy Subsidies, A Benefit to All Americans

Earlier this week, American Experiment wrote about how some Democratic members of the U.S. House and Senate had opposed the proposed pandemic relief spending bill because did not include more subsidies for the wind and solar industry, among other items on the liberal wish list that are totally irrelevant to the virus outbreak. Thankfully, attempts to insert these pork-barrel projects into the bill failed, which benefits all Americans by not providing even more incentives for unreliable, weather-dependent resources that increase the cost of providing electricity to everyone. It wasn't due to lack of trying, though. According to an article in Utility Dive:  "Despite...

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Wind Subsidies for Xcel Energy’s Minnesota Operations Totaled More Than $49 Million in 2016

According to data found in utility documents filed with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Xcel Energy earned $49.3 million in federal subsidies in 2016 from its wind facilities located throughout Minnesota and North Dakota. It's important to remember that the cost of wind energy in Minnesota is not just reflected in your monthly electric bill, but it also increases the amount of federal taxes you must pay. While $49 million is no doubt a significant chuck of change, it likely represents only a small amount of the federal subsidies doled out to wind producers in Minnesota because most of the wind...

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It’s All About the Subsidies, Baby! Minnesota’s Wind Farms Are Being Rebuilt to Capture More Subsidies

The Lake Benton Wind (LBW) Farm in southern Minnesota is being retooled to improve turbine performance and reliability, but most importantly, it is being rebuilt to generate federal production tax credits.  According to North American Wind Power, in 2017, ALLETE Clean Energy announced an $80 million project that includes replacing select blades, gearboxes and generators on turbines at the Lake Benton wind farm in Minnesota’s Lincoln County and the Storm Lake I and II wind farms in Iowa’s Buena Vista and Cherokee counties. The Lake Benton 1 facility was placed into service in 1998, and Lake Benton 2 was placed into service in 1999....

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