Renewables are now Economically Competitive with Fossil Fuels
WWe are witnessing a pivotal moment in history as renewable energy generation using wind and solar becomes economically competitive with fossil fuels. The Geronomio Energy Proposal in Minnesota is one more example of this game changing shift.
Adapted from the Star Tribune 01.15.2014 by Doug Pierce AIA, LEED Fellow, AREA Research
Minneapolis – In a high-stakes competition to build new electric generating capacity in Minnesota, distributed solar power proved to be the best investment for rate payers over new natural gas plants according to Administrative Law Judge Eric Lipman. Edina based Geronimo Energy’s proposal to buildout $250 Million worth of solar power in Minnesota won out with no state or utility subsidies in the states first ever open competition for major power generation.
It is also the first time in the United States that solar energy, without a state subsidy, has beaten natural gas in an official head-to-head price comparison according to Geronimo Vice President Betsy Engleking. Proposed sites for ground mounted solar panels would be distributed across 17 counties and located adjacent to existing substations to avoid the cost and impact of adding transmission-lines. Most of the sites are in the central, eastern and southeastern Minnesota with some having a 70 acre footprint.
Read More at the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Massive Solar Plan for Minnesota Wins Bid Over Gas”>
Read More at Energy Matters.Com: “Solar Energy Trumps Gas in Legal Ruling”>
The Geronimo Energy Distributed Solar Energy Proposal states that “as proposed, the 100 MW Project will provide Xcel Energy with 72 MW of accredited capacity to meet its peak capacity obligations in the Midwest Independent System Operator’s Planning Reserve Sharing Pool. The Project will also provide approximately 200,000 MWh of energy in Year 1 of which 70 percent is on peak and 100 percent is produced during the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. CST…as a renewable resource, the Distributed Solar Energy Proposal has a number of significant environmental benefits, as it has no carbon or other air emissions and minimal water usage and environmental impacts.”
C3 Creating • Connecting • Curating Image: NAIT | CC BY-ND License, Cropped | Electrical apprentice Eric Penel works on the solar array in Edmonton