Another utility cuts back on coal

  • Article by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 30, 2013 - 6:20 PM

Minnesota Power, which serves 144,000 customers, will convert 2 generators to natural gas and retire a third, a new sign of fuel's decline.

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greg62Jan. 30, 13 3:05 PM

Too bad this assualt on coal will just drive up energy costs for all of us.

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joe_mnJan. 30, 13 3:32 PM

Does burning gas produce exhaust? Perhaps not sulfur or other noxious stuff but it is still combustion. Perhaps a windmill would be better

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urservantJan. 30, 13 3:42 PM

The whining about global warming will pale in comparison to when people are freezing in their Minnesota homes because the cost of heating goes up. Coal is not the enemy, elitist are.

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porkhopperJan. 30, 13 4:04 PM

greg62 - how about the assault on our planet's atmosphere? Surely you're not denying global climate change? This is our last planet... By the way, Minnesota Power has some of the lowest rates in the upper midwest, if not the country. Kudos to them for making progress.

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mdcastleJan. 30, 13 4:20 PM

Uh, it would take more than "a" windmill. Hoyt Lakes has a capacity of 110 megawatts. A typical windmill, provided the wind is blowing, has the capacity of a megawatt or so.

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justsayingJan. 30, 13 5:02 PM

I say we divide up the country and put up a fence. Those who want wind mills and solar on one side and the rest on the other. See how long it takes for the elitists to come knocking.

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dmay88Jan. 30, 13 5:14 PM

Baseload coal is our best protection against skyrocketing rates. Wind is horribly expensive and needs a backup when the wind stops blowing. Gas prices will not stay low indefinitely - watch out for those power cost adjustments when those prices begin to skyrocket. America has an abundance of coal resources but it won't do us any good if we destroy all of the equipment that makes it's use feasible. Get involved folks, learn and weigh in on the discussion. It will be too late once the costs hit us right between the eyes.

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mjcmspJan. 30, 13 5:37 PM

"A typical windmill, provided the wind is blowing, has the capacity of a megawatt or so." ---- Hoyt Lakes has a MAX capacity of 110 MW. Most power plants don't run at max capacity. A typical modern wind turbine has a max output of 2-3 MW or so (offshore far greater). Average output of 1 MW, like you say. Really 100 wind turbines isn't that many when you think about it to theoretically replace an entire coal power plant. I say theoretically because you can't control the supply of wind, but with proper location it can be pretty reliable. There are plenty of smart people looking for ways to solve the wind variability problem. It's not that insurmountable of a problem, it is just going to take money. Unfortunately our gov't has been highjacked by tightwads over the last 30 years who know the price of everything and the value of nothing (but they'll spend unlimited amounts on wars to fund the military industrial complex of course).

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wordupJan. 30, 13 5:37 PM

Makes more sense to burn the clean fossil before the dirty. Maybe in mean time we can build all those silly granola things like better batteries and solar so when the stuff runs out, the logic of cost per megawatts today will not look wise in future.

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parker0910Jan. 30, 13 6:01 PM

Typical non reporting. You would think they would include information about the expected effects on rates for customers. Just another press release reported as news.

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