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Wind Power News: Minnesota


These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch. They are the products of and owned by the organizations or individuals noted and are shared here according to “fair use” and “fair dealing” provisions of copyright law.

January 22, 2021 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Gov. Tim Walz pushes again for carbon-free electricity in Minnesota to avert climate crisis

Gov. Tim Walz is again pushing for zero-emission clean electricity – and setting tougher goals this time – after an earlier effort fizzled in the Minnesota Legislature amid Republican opposition. The governor’s call for 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040 is the focus of a set of climate change proposals his office issued Thursday as it works to get Minnesota on track to hit its targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The state’s latest inventory of emissions shows that as a whole, Minnesota . . . Complete story »

January 17, 2021 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Xcel looking to upgrade Grand Meadow wind farm

Xcel Energy is hoping a proposed upgrade to its wind towers near Grand Meadow will move the wind farm further into the future. The company held a virtual open house Thursday night about the project that would extend the life of the farm to 2048 and produce at least 10 percent more energy. “As a national leader in wind energy for more than a decade, repowered wind projects like Grand Meadow will help us reduce carbon emissions, keep bills affordable . . . Complete story »

January 7, 2021 • Minnesota, U.S.Print storyE-mail story

Renewable-energy tax credits extended under pandemic stimulus package

Minnesota renewable-energy developers are welcoming the latest federal pandemic stimulus package, which will extend critical tax credits. Signed into law at December’s end, the $900 billion stimulus bill – meant to stem the economic effects of the corona­virus – extends by two years the terms of solar-energy investment tax credits available in 2020. Now, new solar projects also will get a 26% investment tax credit in 2021 and 2022. That credit will decline to 23% and then 10% in the following two . . . Complete story »

December 26, 2020 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Minnesota regulators approve $750M Xcel wind-power project

Minnesota regulators on Wednesday approved Xcel Energy’s $750 million wind farm “repowering” project, one of several proposals from the utility to help speed up the state’s economic recovery from COVID-19. Xcel, the state’s largest utility, said its plan to retool several existing wind farms will save ratepayers $160 million through efficiency gains. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) unanimously agreed, though the Minnesota Department of Commerce opposed Xcel’s plan. “I believe the record shows this will lead to substantial customer savings . . . Complete story »

December 11, 2020 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Great River announces Minnesota wind-farm projects to replace coal-plant power

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) last week voted unanimously to approve the Buffalo Ridge wind project. Permit applications for the other three projects are expected to be submitted to the PUC next year. Complete story »

November 17, 2020 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Minn. transmission fight reaches Supreme Court

An electric utility is calling for the Supreme Court to weigh in on a “protectionist” Minnesota state law that the power company argues could hinder regional shifts toward clean energy. The 2012 law grants utilities with an in-state presence the “right of first refusal” for certain projects, which LSP Transmission Holdings LLC (LS Power) says violates the Constitution’s “dormant” commerce clause because it discriminates against interstate commerce. Such claims have also driven legal battles over pipeline building and coal exports. . . . Complete story »

November 8, 2020 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Minnesota utility regulators getting pushback on economic-stimulus initiative

Xcel’s second batch of proposed investments focus on two large renewable-energy projects: a $650 million solar energy plant near Becker that would be four times larger than the state’s largest solar farm; and a $750 million effort to “repower” several Minnesota wind farms. Repowering means investing in new equipment that make wind turbines more efficient, saving customers money, Xcel said. The Attorney General’s Office said in a filing that the PUC should “decline to grant expedited reviews of very large investments, as Xcel is requesting.” Complete story »

October 6, 2020 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Semi carrying wind turbine blade misses bypass turn, gets stuck in downtown Crookston

A semi pulling a wind turbine blade almost 250 feet long and guided by pilot vehicles in the front and rear somehow missed the turn onto the truck bypass around Crookston on the east end of town, via Fairfax Avenue, and ended up trapped downtown Monday afternoon. After strategizing with Crookston Police officers, Minnesota State Patrol troopers and the Minnesota Department of Transportation, driving in reverse for a little more than a mile back to the Fairfax Avenue turn was . . . Complete story »

September 2, 2020 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Ordinance amendments and meteorological and communication towers

The Fillmore County Planning Commission held four public hearings at its July 23 meeting. Timberwolf Wind, LLC has applied for a conditional use permit to construct a meteorological tower on property owned by John and Jacqueline Ryan, section 30, Harmony Township. This application is for a tower exactly like the one recently approved to be located in Bristol Township. The temporary 196-foot meteorological tower will be used to validate/confirm wind resources for a potential wind farm. It is expected to . . . Complete story »

September 1, 2020 • MinnesotaPrint storyE-mail story

Wind turbine versus street light

The tip of a wind turbine blade being transported through Marshall knocked over a streetlight in front of the Varsity Pub on Monday afternoon. The damage happened as a trio of semi trucks hauling turbine blades tried to make a right turn from East College Drive onto Main Street. The trailers carrying the turbine blades were so long that each truck had to drive past the College Drive/Main Street intersection and corner back onto Main Street to make the turn. . . . Complete story »

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