Mothballed nuclear reactor illustrates the power of local self-reliance

Date: 19 Nov 2009 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

This story of a the proposed 2300 MW Tyrone nuclear power park (two power plants) for Minnesota is informative. Starting with the original proposal in the 1970s, Northern States Power (now Xcel Energy) was stopped by sharply falling demand in the late 1970s, and they shifted to an alternative proposal to build a 750 MW coal plant. Again energy consumption fell short of projections and Xcel will now be using a combination of Manitoba Hydro power and new wind projects to get 375 MW of new generation. The success in transforming the original dual nukes into a much smaller package of renewable energy was the result of local citizen opposition and state policy on conservation and renewable energy. The author, Dean Abrahamson, notes:

As with almost all major reforms, the movement to more sustainable power has been the result of actions taken by individuals and by states — Washington continues to reluctantly follow, not to lead. [emphasis mine]

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John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power.