More News and Commentary

Op-Ed: Minnesota Coal-Plant Closings Open the Door to Expansion of State’s Renewables Boom

Eric Pasi for the St. Cloud Times: Change can be hard, and it seems particularly hard for Rep. Jim Newberger. His Oct.  23 commentary on the closing of two coal-fired Sherco plants presents a half-empty scenario. He fails to recognize the opportunity that the clean energy economy is creating right in Sherburne County, as well […]

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Minnesota Energy Transition: Midwest’s Largest Solar Plant Opens, Two Coal Plants Close

Elizabeth Dunbar for MPR News: A project like the North Star Solar plot is more likely to be found in the desert. But on the rural landscape just north of the Twin Cities, a sea of solar panels now covers and area three times the size of Minneapolis’ Lake Harriet. North Star Solar began producing […]

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Minnesota Regulators Sign Off on Xcel Coal-Plant Shutdown, Direct Utility to ‘Look More Closely’ at Renewables

Mike Hughlett for the Minneapolis Star Tribune: Minnesota utility regulators Thursday approved Xcel Energy’s plans to shut down its big coal-fired generators in Becker, Minn., by 2026, a move that will eventually eliminate the state’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases. They also directed Xcel to submit a plan for replacing a big chunk of that […]

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North Dakota Coal Industry Group Targets Minnesota

Frank Jossi for Midwest Energy News: While Minnesota utilities continue to turn away from coal, the industry still has its champions in the state – with one group funded largely by North Dakota taxpayers and coal companies. The Coalition For A Secure Energy Future, an offshoot of the Lignite Energy Council, has met with legislators […]

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In Upper Midwest Wind Expansion, Xcel Sees a Plentitude of Suppliers

Ian Campbell for SNL: There are more than 7,400 MW of existing uncontracted wind projects in development in the Upper Midwest, providing a competitive backdrop for a recent solicitation issued by Xcel Energy Inc.. Xcel Energy is seeking proposals for up to 1,500 MW of wind energy from projects located in Michigan, North Dakota, South […]

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IEEFA Update (Corrected): Wind in the Wires, and More on the Way

30 States Have Projects Under Construction or in Advanced Development

Wind power is a rapidly growing source of electricity in the U.S., doubling its share of generation in just five years, to 4.9 percent in 2015. The declining cost of wind power, along with cheap natural gas, has put tremendous financial pressure on both coal-fired and nuclear power plants, and is changing the mix of fuels […]

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In Demise of Coal-Fired Plant, a Minnesota Mayor Sees Opportunity Rather Than Despair

Frank Jossi for Midwest Energy News: In a letter to the state’s Public Utilities Commission, Becker Mayor Jerome Kleis said the “detrimental impact” from the closure will be eventually “mitigated by the positive impacts of constructing replacement generation in the Becker community” with new investments and economic opportunities. Officials from surrounding Sherburne County submitted a […]

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A Minnesota Model for Attracting Investment in Renewables

Frank Jossi for Midwest Energy News: A small town on the prairie of southwest Minnesota, Morris has an outsized reputation in the renewable energy world. The city’s University of Minnesota campus boasts two wind turbines, solar thermal and photovoltaic installations, and a small biomass plant. Having seen the university’s success – and having collaborated on […]

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How Are For-Profit Pipelines Fair Use of Eminent Domain?

A Topic From the GOP Presidential Campaign That’s Worthy of More Discussion

One of the many sharp—and welcome—arguments among the GOP presidential candidates of late has been over what constitutes reasonable use of eminent domain. Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) has called Donald Trump out, for instance, for having used eminent domain to try to demolish the home of an elderly widow in Atlantic City so he could […]

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Editorial: In Praise of Minnesota Utility’s Embrace of Clean Air Plan

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune: The plan gives states nearly a year to draft compliance plans and two more years in which to develop final plans. That takes us out to 2018, allowing 12 years in which to gradually bring down emissions, with states able to devise their own methods. This appears to be a […]

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