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Category Archive: Solar

  1. Coops, Utilities Expanding Solar Footprint

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    Electric utilities across the region are increasing their investments in solar energy. Minnesota-based cooperatives, including Great River Energy, plan to install twenty solar projects in the next two years. Solar arrays are growing larger, with companies like Geronimo Energy looking at 50 MW projects. The rapid growth and expansion in Minnesota’s solar industry is due, in part, to a state law requiring investor-owned utilities have 1.5 percent of their generation capacity from solar energy by 2030. Read more in the Star Tribune.

  2. North Dakota’s Wind Energy Industry Poised to Grow

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    Xcel Energy’s Mark Nisbet authored a feature story in the most recent issue of North American Windpower. Nisbet outlined wind energy’s current state-of-play in North Dakota and noted that the wind industry is an important contributor to our state’s economy. Xcel Energy is the nation’s number one wind energy provider and is currently involved in two wind projects that are under construction in the state. The Border Winds Project is estimated to reduce customer costs for energy by $45 million over the 20-year span of the power purchase agreement. Read the full North American Windpower article here.

  3. Industrial Commission to Hold Hearing on Best Practices, Rules for Bakken Crude Transported by Rail

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    Engineering firm Turner, Mason and Company explained their findings from an industry-funded study on the volatility of Bakken crude oil to North Dakota’s Industrial Commission this week. The $400,000 study found that the boiling point for Bakken crude falls within the normal range for light crude, after samples were drawn from several well sites and rail terminal facilities. Another study conducted by U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration showed that Bakken crude is more volatile. The Industrial Commission plans to hold a formal hearing on potential best practices and regulations for ensuring the safe transport of Bakken crude oil. Read more in the Bismarck Tribune.

  4. ND Alliance for Renewable Energy Elects Officers

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    The North Dakota Alliance for Renewable Energy has re-elected Kim Christianson, Bismarck, to another term as President.  Ken Hellevang and Warren Enyart were also re-elected to their posts as Vice-President and Secretary, respectively.  In addition to officer elections, NDARE has retained Riverwind Consulting, West Fargo, to provide staffing services for the organization.  Read more on NDARE’s website.

     

  5. Solar expected to grow in Minnesota

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    A new law was recently passed for the state of Minnesota, stating that utilities must generate or procure 1.5 percent of their power by solar sources by 2020. Solar currently is one of the smallest sources of power in the U.S., generating less than 0.11 percent in 2012. Xcel Energy, Inc. plans to begin producing solar power through neighborhood hubs of solar panels. Individuals or groups can subscribe to the solar gardens, and Xcel will purchase the energy from the subscribers. To learn more, see the Grand Forks Herald.

  6. New refinery legislation proposed

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    ND Senator John Hoeven is sponsoring new legislation that would allow refineries across the US to better plan outages in the future. Under current legislation, refineries are not able to communicate when they plan to have outages, which has resulted in lower fuel in reserves and higher prices across the country. Read more in the Bismarck Tribune. In addition, there are numerous other factors that led to the higher gas prices that residents saw in May. These factors range from fuel transportation infrastructure challenges to competitive markets. Learn more from the Bismarck Tribune.

  7. Clean Energy report released

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    The Pew Environment Group released its latest publication on the progress of the clean energy sector around the world. Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race: 2012 Edition takes a look at how the United States stacks up against the rest of the world, falling by 37 percent in investments during the reporting period from the previous year. The clean energy sector worldwide declined 11 percent in investments to $269 billion, though total investment in 2012 was five times greater than 2004. Read the downloadable report and press release at Pew Environment Group’s website.

  8. Fargo couple goes soley solar

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    John and Robyn Bagu have started a year-long experiment to power their Fargo home only by the power generated from solar panels installed on the roofs of their garage and house. They’ll also have battery storage in their basement. The initial investment for this experiment ran the couple about $35,000. They hope to disconnect from the grid if the experiment proves successful, and eventually get electric cars that they would be able to charge at home. Read the article in the F-M Forum.