From wind power to bio-based fuel, Minnesota emerges as a leader in the renewable energy industry. By Gene Rebeck
When it comes to renewable energy development, Minnesota means business. The state set a goal to obtain 25 percent of its electricity fom renewable energy sources by 2025. Minneapolisbased Xcel Energy?which is responsible for about half of the total electricity sales in the state?is required to provide 30 percent of its energy fom renewable sources by 2020. why the state is well positioned to meet those goals. Minnesota gets nearly percent of its electricity fom wind power, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. energy is still by far the lowest-cost new renewable says Michael Noble, a longtime Minnesota alternative energy industry observer and executive director of Fresh Energy, a St. energy policy advocacy group. epicenter for wind energy is the Ridge, located in the breezy, southwestern part of the state. Beyond Ridge, there are more than 50,000 new turbines proposed for the Upper Midwest over the next 20 years. Nearly all of the major wind companies have a presence in the state, including General Electric and Danish wind giant Vestas. Not all of these projects will be built?some due to lack of others because of an unproductive location or bad design. But the political wind is certainly blowing in the direction of more development.
RAIS Wave System captures all available light to generate maximum energy. Earlier this year, the company pulled in $5.64 million in to produce solar panels for commercial buildings.
all the states in the Midwest, Minnesota has the best economic conditions for solar Noble says. Over the years, the government has subsidies for solar projects, and many small ones have been constructed, usually for individual buildings and residences. Xcel Energy help for residents through its Solar*Rewards program. And the Obama administration has been a big supporter of solar energy, recently the idea of expanded federal investment in solar technologies.
September 2010 deltaskymag.com