Energy firm to put solar array near wind farms

  • Article by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 25, 2012 - 10:21 PM

A project near Slayton, Minn., will test whether the alternative energy sources can complement each other, increase reliability.

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moffittJan. 26, 12 7:27 AM

It will be interesting to see what they learn from this project. Solar panels are a lot cheaper today than they were just a few years ago. In fact, there is a Minnesota company making them up on the Range.

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redorblueJan. 26, 12 7:40 AM

2 wrongs do NOT make a right. just ask the dead eagles (bald & golden) of goodhue county.

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swmnguyJan. 26, 12 8:30 AM

We're not going to find a single replacement for carbon-based energy sources. We don't have a single source of energy now; why would we in the future?

Non-carbon-based renewable energy is only considered expensive today because of artificial economic structures, and because we don't count the costs of carbon-based non-renewable energy. If we counted pollution, energy expended to gain the energy, military costs, health consequences, etc.; so-called "alternative" energy sources have been well cheaper than carbon-based energy for a long time; perhaps since the 1970's.

Slayton is out by the Buffalo Ridge. I grew up 20 miles away. The wind blows all the time out there. There's nothing to block the sky. Every scrap of land not suitable for farming should be covered with solar panels and and wind generators, all the way to the Black Hills. That area could become the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy.

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swmnguyJan. 26, 12 8:31 AM

Oh, and there are wind turbine designs that don't harm wildlife. Certainly not as much as coal and petroleum do, not that we track that. Do those who tilt at windmills count highway roadkill?

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earneditJan. 26, 12 8:51 AM

there are more eagles killed by cars from feeding on roadkill, or from lead ingested from feeding on deer carcasses/entrails taken from hunting. That said, location of wind farms and their verifiable impacts should be part of a valid discussion, as is the case in Goodhue.

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unionsrockJan. 26, 12 9:26 AM

@redorblue - the wind farm you mentioned hasn't even been built yet.

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dinojimJan. 26, 1210:18 AM

How many acres will it take to actually get some solar production to make a difference? If it takes 13 acres just for two megawatts, we are talking thousands of acres just put a dent in actually electricity use. And all that just so you can produce electricity during the limited time of daylight! How is that good for the environment?

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moron100Jan. 26, 1211:23 AM

dinojim - if i did my math correctly based on this story. 13 acres to power 340 homes. Assuming 4 people per home. Assume about 5 million people in the state. 5,000,000/4= 12,500,000 homes. take the 12,500,000 * 13 acres = 1,625,000,000 acres of solar panels. The state of MN has 55,643,520 acres. So if i did my math correctly we dont have enough land to do it ever. Solar and Wind energy are a pipe dream. Nuclear power is the answer. has problems but we can build small nuke power plants just like they do to power subs and aircraft carriers.

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billglahnJan. 26, 1211:27 AM

What is the land being used for now? Are we taking productive crop or ranch land out of production for subsidized solar power?

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seanc0039Jan. 26, 1212:51 PM

@moron100 - your math is only off by a factor of 34,000... 5,000,000/4 = 1,250,000 homes. 1,250,000 homes*13 acres/340 homes = 47,794 acres. I'm in no way arguing that it's the answer. I agree nuclear needs to be in the mix.

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