skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Educators preserve, shape future with 'ALT NEW COLLEGE'; NY appeals court denies delay for Trump civil fraud trial; Michigan coalition gets cash influx to improve childcare.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A House Committee begins its first hearing in the Biden impeachment inquiry, members of Congress talk about the looming budget deadline and energy officials testify about the Maui wildfires.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A small fire department in rural Indiana is determined not to fail new moms and babies, the growing election denial movement has caused voting districts to change procedures and autumn promises spectacular scenery along America's rural byways.

Opening Up Space on MN's Clean-Energy 'Highway'

play audio
Play

Friday, October 14, 2022   

The Midwest electric grid held up against a series of heat waves this past summer. But industry voices say as states such as Minnesota add more renewable energy, maintaining reliability and boosting transmission space is key.

In the past decade, 81% of new electricity-generation capacity in Minnesota has come from sources such as wind and solar. JoAnn Thompson, vice president for asset management at Otter Tail Power, said it's encouraging to see this shift, with analysts noting renewables are proving to be more cost-effective. However, she said all this energy needs a place to go.

"These transmission lines have a capacity limit," she said, "so they can only take so much generation being flowed over these lines."

She said finding more space would help her utility reach its clean-energy goals and deliver affordable power to customers.

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) recently reported another record application period for renewable projects. MISO also just approved 18 new long-range transmission projects across the upper Midwest, but it will take several years for them to be operational.

Thompson said they're appealing to regulators to do all they can to see these upcoming projects meet all the necessary requirements to avoid even longer timelines, "and that collaboration and coordination is going to be very critical to ensure that we're able to timely develop and construct the necessary transmission."

Mike Schowalter, senior policy associate for clean electricity with the group Fresh Energy, said having a clogged transmission system means extra infrastructure work to accommodate certain projects, making them a little more costly in the short term. Ideally, he said, the region needs a grid that isn't specifically designed for power from fossil fuels.

"It's shifting to where it's sunnier or where it's windier," he said, "and we need to rebuild that grid in order to actually take advantage of those resources."

He said doing so would result in a more even distribution of renewable energy, allowing all parts of Minnesota and beyond to access these sources.

Disclosure: Fresh Energy contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Michigan is among 20 states to receive a multiyear grant from the Pritzker Children's Initiative. (SneakyPeakPoints/peopleimages.com/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The coalition known as "Think Babies Michigan" has secured more than $36 million in funding to offer grants to child-care providers for infants and to…


Social Issues

play sound

Nearly 100 school board elections are coming up in Minnesota this fall, with some gaining attention because of the candidates who are running…

Social Issues

play sound

The so-called conservative "hostile takeover" of a small, progressive liberal arts college in Florida is seeing some resistance from former students …


Only 546 of the tenants in the the 5,563 eviction cases filed in Nebraska in the first half of 2023 were represented by legal counsel. (tab62/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

High rent prices are draining the budgets of many Nebraska renters, who are paying between 30% and 50% of their income on rent. In some parts of the …

Social Issues

play sound

As the federal government nears a shutdown over a budget impasse in Congress, Wisconsin offices that help low-income individuals worry they'll have …

Lewiston, Idaho, sits on the Snake River at the border with Washington. (Guy Sagi/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Indigenous leaders are traveling through the Northwest to highlight the plight of dwindling fish populations in the region. The All Our Relations …

Social Issues

play sound

Washington performs well in a new report scoring states' long-term care systems. The Evergreen State ranked second in AARP's Long-Term Services and …

Social Issues

play sound

A lack of housing options, mental-health challenges and a lack of connections and support have combined to drive an uptick in the number of foster …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021