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Minn. Senate Republicans: State Sen. Mathews, Rep. Mekeland Call on Xcel Energy to Stop the Closure of the Sherco Coal Plants and Preserve Minnesota's Energy Supply

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    ST. PAUL, Minnesota, June 16 -- Minnesota Senate Republicans issued the following statement on June 15, 2022:

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    Senator Andrew Mathews (R-Princeton), vice chair of the Senate Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy Committee, and Rep. Shane Mekeland (R-Clear Lake) made the following statement today in response to a new grid reliability report indicating that the Central United States power grid, which includes Minnesota, faces high risks of outages, both this summer and next few years.

    The pressure on the capacity of the power grid will only be heighted by the extreme heat seen during the peak months of summer. One gigawatt can power a million U.S. homes on average, but as little as 200,000 on a hot summer day.

    "From shutdowns of coal and nuclear plants to seasonal factors like low wind conditions and extreme heat, the stresses on the Midwest power grid are severe and could force rotating blackouts this summer. Guaranteeing that Minnesota has a dependable and sustainable energy outlook is an issue we have dedicated ourselves to for years.

    "The Central power grid is managed by the Midcontinent Independent System Operate (MISO), which includes Minnesota in a 15-state territory of 42 million people. While Minnesota cannot dictate the energy policies of the other states on the grid, we have options on the table to create a positive energy outlook.

    "That is why we are calling on Xcel Energy to stop the closure of the Sherco Coal Plants in Becker, the first of which is scheduled to happen in 2023. With our state facing an immediate energy crisis and the grid looking at a 2.5 GWh power deficit, now is not the time to shut down any current supply of energy. Minnesota residents should not have to worry about losing power during severe weather conditions, and this will only compound the pressures on the grid and heighten our state's energy crisis.

    "Further, as Minnesota considers its energy future, we strongly believe that nuclear power must be a central part of this conversation. Nuclear is as a carbon-free, clean-energy source that provides base load generation and serves as reliable energy during extreme conditions. That is why we authored legislation this session to exempt certain nuclear generating facilities from our state's nuclear moratorium. This legislation passed the Senate with a strong bipartisan vote of 45-21. However, it was rejected by House Democrats.

    "Until new, reliable energy generation is put into place in Minnesota, we must conserve all energy sources we already have available."

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    Original text here:


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