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Renewables First

Paradigm shift: Wind energy can be the new baseload

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Exciting news came at a recent energy policy forum in Minnesota when David Saggau, CEO of Great River Energy, which provides energy to 28 electric co-ops in Minnesota, stated that he sees wind quickly becoming the new base-load.  “In the past, we tended to think of our coal resources as baseload and every other resource being supplemental to that,” said Saggau. “I would suggest to you that wind is quickly becoming the new baseload; and   […]   Read More »

Categories: Cost, Public Education, Reliability

Clean, Low-cost Wind Energy Is a Smart Choice

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Minnesota now gets over 17% of its electricity from wind energy. That’s great news for all Minnesotans. We can all benefit from lower electricity costs. Across the Midwest, low-cost wind energy is a smart choice.

Wind has become one of the most affordable sources of electricity generation, which keeps more money in your pocket and helps keep costs low for businesses. In fact, wind power’s price has dropped 66 percent in the last 6 years   […]   Read More »

Categories: Cost, Public Education

A Smart Choice: Wind Energy Grows Good Jobs in Minnesota

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According to the Department of Energy, the wind industry now employs over 100,000 Americans with good, family-supporting jobs.  That’s more jobs than in coal, gas, nuclear or hydroelectric plants.  And, these jobs span all 50 states.  While wind turbine technician is the country’s fastest growing job according to the US Department of Labor, not all the jobs require scaling those tall towers.  Jobs in engineering, law, finance, sales, construction, as well as manufacturing all support   […]   Read More »

Categories: Jobs, Public Education

Wind energy plays a part in making America great

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A long, and sometimes painful, election cycle is now behind us.  As we take a collective breath to absorb the outcome and ponder how renewable energy will fare under the Trump administration, we can breathe easy knowing that wind energy is an American success story. 

Since we have just lived through weeks of polling – pre-election polls, exit polls, and discussing and analyzing poll data ad nauseam – why not look at a few more?   […]   Read More »

Categories: Jobs, Public Education

Clean Power Plan or no, wind energy poised to power America’s future

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If you’ve been paying attention to federal energy policy in the U.S. lately, you’ll know that the Clean Power Plan is back in the spotlight.

The Clean Power Plan (CPP) is the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule designed to have states lower their carbon emissions from existing power plants. It is seeking a national carbon reduction goal of 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The Plan is currently on hold while the U.S. Court of   […]   Read More »

Categories: Clean Power Plan, Rules & Law

From the windy plains to the "Windy City"

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Illinois is a national leader in the wind power industry

Illinois built its first wind farm in just 2003 and today the Land of Lincoln is home to more than 3800 megawatts of wind generation, enough to power over one million homes. Existing wind development makes Illinois the nation’s #5 state for installed wind generation, and more wind companies have US or global headquarters in Illinois than any other state.

Costs for wind generation   […]   Read More »

Category: State Policy

WOW’s Chris Kunkle Speaks at CapX2020 Line Dedication Ceremony

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On September 26, the CapX2020 partners celebrated the energization of the CapX2020 Hampton-Rochester-La Crosse 345 kV electric transmission line. The 156-mile line is the last Minnesota portion of CapX2020 to be brought online and will allow significant amounts of wind and solar generation to be added to the region’s electricity resource mix.

“By providing access to the least-cost sources of clean, renewable wind energy, CapX2020 will deliver long-term benefits to customers throughout the region for decades   […]   Read More »

Category: Transmission

Political will holding back significant wind development in Wisconsin

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With the election heating up, politics are dominating our lives.  Ads, hyperbole, and mud-slinging often make us want to throw our hands up in despair; but we can’t throw in the towel.  The political rhetoric around energy at the state and federal level is not going away any time soon. And, in states like Wisconsin where the political will for wind development in recent years has seemed tenuous at best, vigilance is paramount.

In spring of   […]   Read More »

Categories: Public Education, State Policy