BNEF: Unsubsidized wind now competitive with gas in Minnesota FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Minneapolis Star-Tribune:The cost of deploying wind and solar energy continued to decline significantly in Minnesota last year, and wind — even without federal tax subsidies — may be the state’s cheapest source of new electricity.Those conclusions were included in a report released Monday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which annually surveys the U.S. power generation sector for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, an industry-led group.The cost of new wind and solar power facilities in Minnesota fell by 16 percent and 23 percent respectively in 2018 over the previous year, the report found.The “levelized cost” of new, unsubsidized wind energy came in at $38 per megawatt hour (MWh), which takes into account the cost to build a power plant and its total power output, according to the Bloomberg analysis. Bloomberg didn’t have a state-by-state breakout of the levelized cost of natural gas. But wind in Minnesota is particularly cheap.“Minnesota has access to some of the best wind resources in the U.S.,” the Bloomberg report said. “As a result … new wind build in the state is likely already at parity with new combined-cycle natural gas plants even without incentives.”More: Cost of adding new wind, solar energy continues to fall in Minnesota, report says
CLEAR LAKE — Clear Lake’s City Council tonight will discuss establishing an early retirement incentive program. The voluntary program would assist eligible city employees who wish to retire but cannot do so because of medical insurance coverage concerns. To be eligible, participants would have to be current full-time or full-time equivalent employees who are age 56 or older and have not less than 25 years of continuous employment with the city. Those who would participate in the program at age 60 would remain up to five years or when they become Medicare eligible on the city’s group health insurance plan under a single policy. Employees can choose to continue family health coverage by paying the difference between the cost of the family plan and the city’s contribution toward a single coverage premium. An employee who retires prior to age 60 can utilize post-retirement accumulated paid leave conversion credit to pay health insurance premiums. If that would be insufficient to cover the cost of health insurance to the age of 60, the employee would be responsible for the full premium until age 60, at which point the premium for a single policy would be covered by the city.Eligible employees must retire from city employment between August 1st and September 30th of this year, with notice of intent to retire having to be filed prior to July 17th. The Clear Lake City Council meets tonight at 6 o’clock at City Hall.