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January 09, 2014

Clean Energy: Making Better Economic Sense and Keeping the Heat On During the Polar Vortex

Solar is a better dealClean energy continues to make the news nationwide as solar and wind power continue expanding at an exponential rate.
"Solar is a better deal."

That's the ruling from a judge in a case about whether Xcel should replace its Minnesota Black Dog coal plant with natural gas or solar. The solar plan is a 100-megawatt project from Geronimo Energy that would span 20 sites across the state. Minnesota's Public Utilities Commission must still approve the plan, but it's great news for clean energy and clean air and water.
This Minnesota news is the latest in the string of good clean energy stories. Earlier this week, when much of the U.S. was in the grips of a sub-zero "Polar Vortex," wind energy kept the power on in Texas:

Sufficient generation and higher wind output from West Texas wind farms boosted the state's electric supply Tuesday compared to Monday when the grid operator declared an emergency as power plants shut unexpectedly, reducing supply.

Coal and nuclear power plants couldn't handle the strain, so wind once again picked up the slack. This happened back in the summer of 2011, too, when the Texas grid was overloaded due to excessive heat.
Meanwhile, in Missouri, Kansas City Power & Light announced this week it will expand an energy efficiency program and "double its wind-generating capacity to serve 124,000 homes."
This new energy efficiency and wind expansion came after the Sierra Club threatened legal action when KCP&L didn't fulfill its legal agreement to expand its wind power capacity by the end of 2013.
We could go on and on with great clean energy news -- (Did you see all hiring in the the wind turbine manufacturing industry? Or the Massachusetts town that's saving $2.5 million annually because of a solar array over a former landfill?) -- but we'll leave it there for now.
Clean energy is right now.

-- Heather Moyer, Sierra Club Media Team


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