Friday, June 9, 2017

It Never Quits -- Now, Another Huge Power Plant To Be Built In Wisconsin -- Will Meet MN Carbon Mandates -- June 9, 2017

A huge thanks to a reader for sending me this link and pointing out the reason why Minnesota Power built this plant in Wisconsin.
  • Nemadji Trail Energy Center 
  • split costs between Minnesota Power and Dairyland Power Cooperative
  • location: Superior, Wisconsin
  • $700 million natural gas power plant
  • 550-megawatt plant
  • $1.3 million / MW (high end?)
  • if approved, construction could start in 2020; complete by 2025
  • the proposal includes "a suite" of renewable energy proposals that include new wind and solar generation (something required these days to get bigger non-renewable projects approved)
    • as an off-set, MN will buy power from a new wind farm in southwestern MN and a solar array
    • wind farm: Nobles 2, built by Tenaska; will come on-line in 2020; 250-MW wind farm (at 20%, that amounts to 50 MW)
    • solar farm: 10 MW (whoo-hoo); Cypress Creek Renewables; could come online as soon as 2019
But, possibly, this is the big reason Superior, WI, was chosen as the site:
"If everyone just built the green stuff, that’s when we could find ourselves with reliability that could be very precarious,” Pierce said, adding that the utility’s biggest customers — taconite plants on the Iron Range — depend on the grid 24/7. “I can’t emphasize enough the importance of our natural resource-based economy and the need for reliability and affordability.”
Power generation from natural gas is easier to control than coal, on top of being less carbon-intensive. Natural gas prices have also been at historically low levels in recent years, though growing demand from new and proposed power plants could change that.

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