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Andrew Burger's picture
Man Friday Energy Ventures

I've worked a pretty diverse range of jobs around the world over the years. I feel fortunate to have found vital, satisfying work, and a career reporting, editing and researching developments in...

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  • Apr 29, 2019

Solar power will fuel all Minnetonka city's facilities and infrastructure year-end— city buildings, sewer and water systems and street lights, according to a local news report. Quite an accomplishment. And in sunny Minnesota no less!

At present the city is halfway towards its goal. Earlier this year, the city council approved subscriptions to more solar energy gardens being built under the umbrella of utility Xcel Energy's community solar gardens program. 

All told, Minnetonka consumes some 15 million kWh of electrical energy per year, equivalent to that required to power 500 homes. 

The city recieves a discount on its energy bill for using solar energy. It expects to cut its electricity bills in half, by $500,000 a year, by achieving its 100% solar energy goal. That adds up to $12.5 million over the contract's 25-year term, according to the news report. 

There are no start-up, installation or maintenance costs associated with participation in Xcel's community solar gardens program. The only cost to the city is $18,000 per year for the advice of energy consultants. 


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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Apr 30, 2019

"Solar power will fuel all Minnetonka city's facilities and infrastructure year-end — city buildings, sewer and water systems and street lights. The city is halfway towards its goal."

The day half is the easy half...what about street lights?

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Apr 30, 2019

Street lights are actually one of the easier applications where solar energy can take them off reliance on the grid, since it doesn't take much energy to run through the night so it's easy to generate and store ahead of the night--

I know that's not what this community did and the solar accomplishments being touted here are more of an accounting practice, but I just think the street light part isn't a great 'weakness' of solar to go after

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Apr 30, 2019

That was an easy target. Do the pumps providing fresh water to Minnetonka residents shut down, too? What about police/fire services? What about cloudy weather in Wisconsin, when solar is essentially unavailable for days or weeks at a time?

No Matt, Minnetonka remains 100% reliant on the grid, and it's long past time to call out the mantra WWS will ever be capable of powering 100% of any town, city, or society for what it is: a lie. As far as I know, the only academics supporting it are on the payroll at Stanford's Natural Gas Initiative. Their accounting, cited as gospel, has been audited by other accountants who found them to be cooking the books, to be laundering dirty energy.

"Natural Gas Initiative"...connect the dots.

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