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Xcel Energy Property Taxes Soar 131.6 Percent Since Minnesota Began Mandating Renewable Energy – Ratepayers are Stuck with the Bill

We at American Experiment often write about how wind and solar energy cause nearly every aspect of the energy grid to be more expensive, but one aspect of this story we have not yet covered is the role wind and solar play on increasing property taxes. Property taxes constitute approximately 6 percent of your electric bill, as utility companies are allowed to pass these expenses directly on to their consumers. As property taxes rise, so does the amount you pay for electricity each month. As renewable energy sources increase on the grid, so do the property tax expenses that ratepayers are stuck...

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Our Take: Complicated Economics of Community Solar Gardens Subject of Debate

The Star Tribune recently ran an article called "Complicated economics of community solar gardens subject of debate." Seeing how the Strib did not seek our opinion on the topic for their article, I'm providing it below. First and foremost, Minnesota's Community Solar installations are a mess. These solar installations are small, inefficient, and expensive. According to the article in the Star Tribune, Xcel Energy currently purchases power from the solar gardens at a price of 13.5 cents per kilowatt hour, which is 4.3 times more expensive than the electricity generated at the Sherburne County (Sherco) coal-fired power plant in 2016. Cost data for...

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Utility Dive Names Xcel Energy “Utility of the Year.” We’re Less Impressed

Utility Dive, a website that covers the ongoings of the electric utility industry, has named Xcel Energy the Utility of the Year for 2018, commending the company for retiring coal-fired power plants and investing billions in future wind, solar, and natural gas installations. As for us, we don't think Xcel should be applauded for pursuing policies that result in higher profits for Xcel shareholders at the expense of the families and businesses who have no choice but to buy their electricity from the monopoly utility. ...

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In Case You Ever Question Our Renewable Energy Arguments – Here’s Xcel Agreeing with Us 

In its most recent annual securities and exchanges report to investors, Xcel admitted exactly what American Experiment has been saying for years – that renewable energy sources increase electricity rates, create energy grids with excess and idle capacity, and lead to a more unreliable energy system.  ...

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If Wind Energy Saves Ratepayers Money, Why Does Xcel Brag About How Wind Investments Increase Profits for Shareholders?

Wind energy is supposed to be the cheapest energy source available, providing energy savings to Minnesota businesses and families.  Just read this opening paragraph of a StarTribune article, which claims that “The cost of wind energy in Minnesota, even without tax subsidies, now appears lower than that of electricity produced from both natural gas and coal.”  The validity of this statement can be proven false simply by using public data provided by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). As you can see from the graph below, the cost of electricity from wind farms is more expensive than both coal and natural gas plants.  Figure 1 The capacity factor of a power plant can...

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Xcel Tries To Trick Customers Into Thinking They’re Being Treated

I'd say Happy Halloween, but the increasing cost of electricity is downright frightening. Minnesota's electricity prices have been skyrocketing, largely because our state has squandered $15 billion on wind turbines and the additional transmission lines needed to transport the electricity generated by far-away wind turbines to the metro area. While one could argue utility companies are simply responding to the mandates imposed upon them by legislators and regulators, I would vehemently disagree because  Xcel actively lobbies to skew the regulatory apparatus in their favor. In fact, in 2016 Xcel spent more money lobbying than every organization other than the Minnesota Chamber of...

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An Energy Injustice: Low Income Households Will Subsidize Wealthy Ones Under New Handouts for Community Solar

Environmental groups may pay lip service to "environmental justice" in low-income communities, but these communities are being hoodwinked by the environmentalists who will make it harder for low-income families to pay their electric bill so the community solar program can be funded, at any cost.  ...

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Don’t Forget, Trump’s Tax Cuts Brought Down Your Electricity Bill

Despite what its detractors say, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed last year has been an unqualified success. Unemployment is at its lowest rate since 1969, wages are rising in critical industries like manufacturing, and we now have a situation where employers are struggling to find employees, not unemployed people struggling to find jobs. Economic gains were part of the sales pitch for the tax cuts, but Minnesotans have also experienced a host of unexpected benefits from them, including refunds from electric utilities. Because the tax cuts reduced the corporate tax income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, Xcel...

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Xcel Should Save Sherco 1 and 2, Skip the Wind

On October 2nd, Xcel Energy told a crowd of people about how they intend to grow their "carbon free" electricity generation portfolio by replacing coal-fired generation with more wind. This would happen as the monopoly utility closes three coal plants at Sherburne County (Sherco) Units 1 and 2, in Becker, and the Allen S. King plant in Stillwater.  Xcel should save the coal and skip the wind, because Minnesota can't afford more failed energy policies. ...

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