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On the One Year Anniversary of the Polar Vortex, Wind Was 0.16 Percent Productive

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the Polar Vortex, which enveloped the state in an arctic cold that pushed our energy system to the max. You'll remember that our friends at Xcel Energy sent out an emergency request that all 460,000 of their natural gas customers turn their thermostat down to 63 degrees to make sure there was not a widespread natural gas shortage, and there was virtually no wind on the system because of low wind speeds and because at -24 degrees Fahrenheit, it was too cold for wind turbines to operate. Well, history repeated itself yesterday, at least in...

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Grid Operators Confirm: Wind Didn’t Work During Polar Vortex

The energy world is buzzing today after the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO) released a report stating the wind didn't show up to work during the polar vortex that swept Minnesota on January 29 and 30. Electricity output from wind plummeted due to low wind speeds and because it was "too cold" for the wind turbines to operate. That being said, why on Earth would DFL lawmakers in St. Paul propose legislation mandating more wind turbines? Here are a few choice excerpts from media outlets covering the story with some of my own commentary sprinkled in. From E&E News: "As residents of the Twin Cities awoke...

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American Experiment Testifies on Bill to Increase Renewable Energy Mandate

On Tuesday, I was in St. Paul to testify on House File 700, which would increase Minnesota's renewable energy mandate to 55 percent renewable by 2030, and 80 percent renewable by 2035. I was one of three testifiers who told the committee that this bill is a bad idea. You can watch my brief, two minute testimony below. American Experiment will soon release a report on the economic and environmental impacts of doubling Minnesota's current renewable energy mandate to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. I share some of the top-line findings of the study with the committee, and although it...

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