Green Mandates Cost Minnesota Utility Customers $70 Million Last Year


“Right now we’re paying for wind we don’t need, we can’t use and can’t sell,” says Mark Glaess, Minnesota Rural Electric Association executive director.

Meaning that green power is like a self-licking ice cream cone. The government subsidizes its production, and then mandates demand for it even though there is really no room in the marketplace for it.

Going green cost rural electric ratepayers in Minnesota more than $70 million last year, according to the Minnesota Rural Electric Association (MREA). …

The Renewable Energy Standard (RES) passed by the 2007 Minnesota State Legislature directs electric utilities to ramp up their percentage of renewable energy sales to 25 percent by 2025. Put another way, one of every four kilowatt hours must come from renewable energy by 2025. Unlike many other states, Minnesota does not exempt coops and municipal utilities from complying with renewable energy standards.To meet the state’s escalating demands, rural electric co-ops and utilities locked in long-term “take or pay” contracts to purchase power from wind farms.

This is the green bubble, and it’s about to pop.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • flamemeister

    Somewhere in Hell Ken Lay boils in oil, green with envy.

  • Wesbutte

    This will just force rural Minnesotans to revert to heating with wood and cutting back on power becaise they can’t afford it.  In sum, these insidious regs are lowering the standard of living back to the 1920’s.

    • Blzerblu72

      Don’t forget, with the new epa regs on wood stoves, you can’t burn wood unless it has a catalytic aparatus, particulate trap, etc….etc…..etc. Cost of new out door wood stoves are around 12-14000.00$. But on the good side, our air will be much safer to breath, according to the EPA., and washington. No more nasty smell of wood smoke, They are building a better world for us all.

  • Jay

    You mean COST, not cause.

  • Kevin Flanagan

    That “free energy” sure costs a lot!

  • SigFan

    Driving through PA the other day I went past a stretch of the Turnpike where 5 or 6 of these idiotic things are located.  I have no idea which power company put them up, or if they are actually in use, but the thought crossed my mind that 5 or 6 of these things can’t be providing that many watts of power.  I bet if you did the ROI on them you would see a parallel to the story here.  Lots of money wasted in taxpayer subsidies for no return.

  • WOOF

    I’m pre-paying for nuclear plants 10 years out, that probably will not be built.

    “The nuclear industry is attempting to expand the use of something called Construction Work in Progress (CWIP), also known as “advance nuclear cost recovery” for financing nuclear plants”

  • mikemc1970

    The envirosocialists want old people, with little to no means, to freeze to death in winter and have heat stroke in summer. WAKE UP THEY ARE TRYING TO KILL YOUR GRANDMOTHER AND GRANDFATHER!

  • Nick Moszer

    Not just folks in Minnesota…. in Fargo we are paying for this too as our local coop gets its power from across the river.  Good thing we were allowed to vote on this.. ooh wait..

  • Slree

    I wrote a coupld of emails just a few days ago to MPS and a council member trying to find out what the per/kw actual cost of owning and operating these things is.  Moorhead does not have the line loss from mills located a long ways away so I figured their actual costs/kw would be about as good as it gets.  Surprise, surprise, MPS doesn’t answer!  It couldn’t be, of course, because the cost is so high they do not want anyone to know what it is.   Or maybe spending other peoples money is so easy they don’t keep track. 

    • Jay

       Last I heard, all told it was roughly $25 per kwh – this from people who installed and set them up.

  • Ratbite

    Hey the fools in MInnesota don’t want our coal generated electricity so I say let the FOOLS sit in the dark. I’ll wager ND can sell our cheap coal generated power to an area where it is wanted if Obama & his EPA stay out of our affairs.

  • Jfisher17

    Partial blame on this goes to former Gov. Pawlenty.

  • Jay

    Dunno about Ken Lay, but T. Boone Pickens was sure happy for a LONG time…

  • Gullik

    Minnesota customers paid 70 mill for this scam, while here in eastern ND, I pay about 20 extra per month without the ability to vote the Minnesota global warming chicken littledems out!! Where do our psc members and candidates stand? Time to by-pass minn and sell power beyond  daytonland.