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View Case Record, RP-15-690
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I am a Minnesota Power customer. I believe the PUC should allow Minnesota Power to APPROVE the Gas Plant in Superior WI. Minnesota Power is a very responsible business in the transportation of energy. They have moved forward to incorporate clean energy and this is another piece of the puzzle to reduce there carbon foot print. It takes steps to get to 100% clean energy and i believe they will get there someday, this is right step in that pursuit. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Yes. Minnesota Power should be approved to build the NTEC natural gas power plant. Electricity prices in Minnesota are already too high due to the insistence on using unreliable solar and wind causing energy poverty and hurting the most vulnerable, the low income and the poor. Approving natural gas plants will help provide reliable less expensive energy, something lives depend on. Electricity is the only commodity that is consumed with in milliseconds of it being produced, and all of the unreliable sources like wind and solar must all be fully backed up by base load sources like natural gas that can be throttled up and down on demand.
Something people don't realize is that the more gas plants you have the higher your own heating bills will be due to supply and demand. What comes out of a coal plant stack is pretty clean, and there is 250 to 400 years of coal in the ground in the United States. I say we quit closing the coal plants we have because it is reliable and cheap power.
most big industrial users oppose this plant and think it will be counter productive for coal fired plants that comitted large amounts of money and materials to retrofit these plants to meet polution standards and the loss of jobs to minnesota workers . the new plant will end up paid for by consumers and gas plants employ far less worker to operate might be plus for wisconsin not minnesota.
As a resident of Minnesota and a consumer of Minnesota Power, I am opposed to the construction of the new fossil fuel- powered energy plant proposed by Minnesota Power and its partner Dairyland Cooperative. My research into the facts of this proposal have led me to the conclusion that this plant is not needed, it threatens clean air and water and it compromises Minnesota's greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals by utilizing fracked gas, a fossil fuel.
Minnesota Power has overstated its electricity needs, overestimated the cost of increased renewable energy and failed to implement the energy savings opportunities of efficiency programs such as Strategic Energy Management, which helps industrial and large energy customers integrate good management into their practices, policies and processes.
In order to meet Minnesota's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to a level at least 80 % below 2005 levels by 2050, Minnesota Power must do more than transition from coal to natural gas- it must begin a robust transition from fossil fuels to renewable solar, wind, and hydro energy sources immediately.
The health and environmental risks of continued use of fossil fuels such as fracked gas are enormous. The fracking process requires large quantities of water mixed with a toxic cocktail of lead, formaldehyde, benzine, methanol and other chemicals which remain in the groundwater to poison drinking water. The extraction of natural gas also releases methane gas which is 26 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.
For all these reasons, I urge you to find that Minnesota Power's request for this gas plant, the Nemadji Trail Energy Center, must be denied.
Everyone deserves to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and benefit from a stable climate. This proposed plant would be powered primarily by natural gas- a fossil fuel derived from hydraulic fracturing.
In a study from Geology and Human Health, entitled Potential Health and Environmental Effects of Hydrofracking in the Williston Basin, Montana, “methane is a main component of natural gas and is 25 times more potent in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.”
A recent study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), monitoring gas wells in Weld County, CO, estimated that 4% of the methane produced by these wells is escaping into the atmosphere. NOAA scientists found the emissions from the Weld County gas wells to be equal to the carbon emissions of 1-3 million cars.
The NOAA study states that “ Some of the pollutants released by drilling include benzene, toluene, xylene, and ethyl benzine, particulate matter and dust, ground level ozone or smog, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and metals contained in diesel fuel combustion -with exposure to these pollutants known to cause short term illness, cancer, organ damage, nervous system disorders and birth defects or even death.”
Inexpensive energy storage facilitates a supply of power on demand. According to EcoWatch, “batteries can smooth out the variability of flow of wind and solar power and store excess energy when demand is low and to release it when demand is high.
In other words, storage extends the range of hours a renewable energy project is able to operate.” We know that Excel Energy's 85% carbon-free projection indicates that renewable energy is best plan for consumers.
If the Public Utilities Commission determines that a need exists for this power plant, I urge the PUC to require that this plant be powered by 100% renewable energy.
As a Minnesota Power customer, shareholder and resident of Duluth, I oppose the approval of the natural gas plant which MP deceptively labels "renewable-enabling". I am concerned that the gas plant will end up a major liability to the company which will affect both customers who will need to pay more for decades to come, and shareholders who will suffer from the results of poor long-range planning. Newer, cleaner technologies - including battery storage which can even out production, improved grids allowing energy purchases on demand from across the region, advances in energy efficiency/conservation and timed usage, and developments in wind and solar technologies - need to be considered before approving this mammoth new fossil fuel plant. Throughout the life cycle of natural gas from production through transport through burning, it also produces sufficient methane so that its greenhouse gas emissions are arguably no better than burning coal. For all these reasons - cost to customers and shoareholders, non-consideration of alternative ways of meeting (flat) energy demand, and the dangers of continuing to burn fossil fuels to all of us - I urge the PUC to deny this permit and instruct MP to look at more positive alternatives.
comment...I am speaking for my great grandchildren , when I oppose the construction of the proposed natural gas plant. They are the ones who are going to face the consequences of our generation not sufficiently addressing the issue of climate change.
It is my understanding that this plant simply is not needed to provide the needed energy.If more energy is needed, then we should go in the direction of renewables such as wind and solar.
The gas must come from fracking, which is environmentally dangerous and is poison to our water.
Going in the direction of gas versus renewables, doesn't help in meeting Duluth's and Minnesota's carbon reduction goals.
It is my understanding that the main reason Minnesota Power is presenting this proposal is based on their budget plans which calls for them to depreciate the costs of construction and operation. This may help their bottom line, but doesn't take into account the health of Mother Earth. Their is no plan B!
The project isn't needed and isn't wanted.
I do not believe that approval of a natural gas powered electrical plant in Superior, Wisconsin is needed according to studies conducted by the Sierra Club and supported by multiple major industries as listed in an issue of the Duluth News Tribune during the week of March 5, 2018. This is a new day and age and we need to be thinking of the people that will come after us and how our decisions today will affect them. Before building new plants we need to exhaust every possible conservation method and financial incentive for customers like me and the industries that use the power. If a plant is needed then the first option should be renewable sources that will not increase the use of fossil fuels. Natural gas is cleaner than coal but it is extracted using fracking techniques that contribute to water pollution, seismic events, use of large quantities of water and sand, resulting in additional pollution and degrading the quality of life of people living in the area. This plant is not neccessary and the technology that would be used to operate it is outdated.
I oppose the construction of any new fossil fuel power plants. We need to do all we can, starting immediately, to increase our use of renewable energy and decrease our production of carbon dioxide. Renewable energy is already competitive with fossil fuels, and by the time this plant comes on line it will already be obsolete. Let’s stick with the power plants we have, for now, and continue to work toward a livable environment. Thanks,
I oppose the construction of the proposed MN Power/Dairyland Gas Plant. Minnesotans and Duluthians have committed to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Constructing another Gas Plant to function in addition to the Plants we already have will just generate more carbon emissions. We are at a crucial juncture at this time in addressing the health needs of the planet and communities. We need to drastically reduce carbon emissions. As all of the MN female Gubernatorial Candidates have voiced, "It is time to make radical change in the way we create and use energy..we need to start with new sustainable practices NOW to address the environmental challenges of today and tomorrow." Building this Plant would be addressing a problem with another problem. It is not in alignment with Minnesota's/Duluth's vision for a sustainable energy future. It is a proposal that is too risky for tax payers- as many of these old energy systems are. Cleaner, cheaper options are available for more energy. Wind and Solar clean energy options will increase grid capacity for less money and help create more sustainable jobs in MN than the proposed natural gas plant. There are too many environmental and financial risks involved using an antiquated response to meet an energy need. We can do better and we need to do better.
No, the PUC should not approve the permit for this plant.
Given the production on energy in the mid-west which currently is more than adequate and they falling renewable energy costs, this plant is not needed.
Additionally, these plants will have some methane leaking no matter how well they are built and maintained.
This is not the future. We can meet our needs with increased renewable energy and energy savings opportunities.
I would like to take a little time to show our strong support for the Nemadji Trail Energy Center, the Ironworkers local 512 would greatly appreciate any efforts in bringing this project closer to construction. Not only would this be a great opportunity to keep our local construction workers busy at work, it is a prime location with much of the needed infrastructure already in place.
Truly a great project with modern clean technology, exactly the type of future we need in the twin ports.
I approve of the Gas Plant. This is a combines cycle plant that will have low emissions in comparison to a true fossil fuel power plant. The emissions from the plant are of the same nature of what you have from your transportation that you all seem to think is acceptable. Like anything else, there may be drawbacks however it is unlikely to think that you can simply eliminate everything that is deemed poor for the environment or humans. The steps that the utilities have taken over the past few decades is amazing. they have put about every piece of pollution reduction equipment available on the fossil fuel plants and the normal citizen still believes they are filthy creatures. However, in reality, they are usually emitting moisture with low levels of toxins. Those toxins in most cases reduced by 85% - 95% . Solar, wind and water does not provide a reliable base load resource leaving a few options left to satisfy the needs. Those are gas plants, coal plants or nuclear plants. It seems that everyone wants electricity but not in their back yard, well it needs to be somewhere and superior is as good as any. The reasons being is that the gas lines are already in place, the transmissions lines are mostly updated and the location just fits the needs. That said, I strongly agree with the need of this power if there will be continued growth in that area including Minnesota and Wisconsin. It takes decades to make the changes everyone wants so lets support this in order to fight the other battles moving forward. I also agree that this will improve the lively hood for many in Superior on a short term and long term basis. It truly is needed in that economy there! Thanks for the opportunity to express myself.
As a ratepayer and resident of Minnesota, I am opposed to the proposed Nemadji Trail Energy Center (NTEC) natural gas plant for several reasons:
The need for construction of NTEC has not been demonstrated and will place high financial risk onto ratepayers.
The city of Duluth – and the whole state of Minnesota – set goals for clean energy production that delivers cheaper energy; alternatives such as wind, solar, demand response and energy efficiency are the alternatives able to meet capacity needs.
More sustainable jobs are created by clean energy production – these are the kind of good jobs we need for our people and our communities.
NTEC is a bad deal and should be rejected.
I wish to voice my objections to the proposed Nemadji Trail Energy Center for the following reasons:
1) Minnesota Power has not adequately demonstrated that we need electricity from this plant. The large industrial users of electricity in the area, including paper mills and taconite mines, have taken a stand against NTEC, stating that Minnesota Power is not proposing the most cost-effective option for its customers.
2) As a Minnesota citizen, I have worked hard with lawmakers over the past several years to put goals in place for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Investing in more infrastructure for the burning of fossil fuels does not allow us to meet those goals.
3) We need to invest in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, which have been proving for many years now that they can lower our energy costs and provide thousands of good-paying, stable jobs. Instead of investing in natural gas, we need to look at alternatives- making better use of existing resources, adopting more efficient technology, and using tax incentives to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy sources. Together, these policies will provide a more stable grid, reduce the chance for stranded assets, and help propel us to the renewable energy infrastructure desired by the majority of Minnesotans.
NTEC does not represent a forward-thinking solution for the electricity needs of the area, and it does not reflect the urgency of our current global warming crisis. It should not be allowed to be built.
Members of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission,
I am writing on behalf of the City of Superior to request that you approve the permit for the Nemadji Trail Energy Center (NTEC). While we recognize the wider benefits of supporting renewable energy and a reliable, local source of energy for our regional grid, we primarily support this project because of the many positive effects it will have on the communities of Superior and Northwest Wisconsin.
The NTEC project is estimated to produce a nearly $1 billion impact on the economy of Northwest Wisconsin. This represents the single largest private investment in Douglas County. Between construction and operation, this project brings opportunities for career supporting jobs for dozens of regional residents, whose economic impact benefits our entire region. It also provides direct financial support to local government, which allows us to invest in infrastructure and new development, reduce taxes, or both.
The project represents a significant leap forward in a renewable energy grid for our entire region as it allows regional power suppliers to shift their energy production from coal to renewable energy. Obviously, 100% renewable energy is not currently sustainable without significant cost to consumers and improvements in long range transmission or technology advances in storage. The NTEC project will allow energy suppliers to shift a significant portion of their load from carbon producing plants to renewable resources, only requiring natural gas to fill in gaps in renewable supply.
Finally, I want to personally recognize the outreach, responsiveness, and investment of Minnesota Power and Dairyland Power Cooperative in our community. They have personally met with elected leaders and the public, shared the details of the project with full transparency, made investments in our community, and have been responsive to real concerns from neighbors and community members. This is the type of corporate neighbor we look for in a community like Superior.
It is my firm belief, born in experience and evidence, that the NTEC project is good for the economy, environment, and community of Superior and Northwest Wisconsin and I strongly urge you to permit this project.
City of Superior
I am interested as to why you consider this a private investment at this time. If it were private at this time, it would not be in this public process. The issue is that Minnesota asking for $350 million from your MN neighbors across the bay.
As such, I am pretty concerned about what they are doing with that public money, both in terms of if they really need it (third party review of future load requirement call that into question); if they do need it is it the cheapest, cleanest energy for the ratepayers (again, third party review of their modeling says that the answer to that is no), and whether it;s construction will assist the state on Minnesota in reaching it's legally stated goals of carbon reduction, which it does not at the current stated use. Quite frankly, if was really such a slam dunk, they could seek financing outside their ratepayers and not have to go through this process and MNPUC. Somehow I don't think that is going to happen.
So I am opposed for all those reasons, but not because it is proposed in Superior. Don't agree with your position on this, but you all are still great neighbors!
No, the PUC should not approve the proposed gas plant.
By Minnesota Power's own documentation, their long range plans will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 40% in 2030, from what their emissions were in 2005. While that sounds impressive, it simply isn't good enough. Knowledge of climate change has been clear to those in the utility industry since the 1960's. Clear and powerful knowledge and documentation was available to them in the 1990's. Minnesota Power only increased their greenhouse gas output by increasing coal plant generation, until the state implemented the next generation act after their referenced 2005 comparison date. Minnesota Power's "transitional" time needed to change to renewable sources has already passed by 20 to 50 years. They should not be permitted to spend consumers money to continue delaying the inevitable need to convert supply away from fossil fueled generation. This new plant's design commits us to continued fossil fuel generation for the next 30 to 50 years. We as a society cannot continue to kick the responsible actions on to our children and grandchildren. We've had enough time to delay. Now is the time to act by implementing every resource we have to transitioning directly to renewable resources using every non- fossil fueled option available.
Please deny Minnesota Power's request to divert human and economic resources away from true forward thinking options, and wasting them on a short sighted business as usual option.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
James Hietala, Duluth