Watts News
 Published for the members of North Itasca Electric Cooperative
VOL. 22 NO. 4  -  April 2019



This ascending heat moves upward into the atmosphere pulling air molecules with it, causing pressure changes which we call pressure gradients to move across the land and the result is wind. The intensities of these pressure gradients determine wind speed, and that, in turn, determines the amount of wind power available to turn the wind turbine blades. The more wind power available, the more electrical energy can be produced.

Typically, electricity cannot be stored; but with new developments in battery technologies, this is changing. If we could store electrical energy in batteries for future use, less production would be needed and demand cost would be reduced lowering the bottom line. We have this storage now in our off-peak programs called (ETS) Electric Thermal Storage. The ETS storage water and ETS space heating programs allow us to store energy from nighttime low cost generation and use it the next day.

Renewable energy was realized some time ago, but with inexpensive fossil fuels and the cost of technology, we’ve been slow to react until we recognized the results of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases. It may have taken many decades to recognize the problem, but we are making great progress in renewable energy resources and technologies.

By 2030, Great River Energy has a goal that 50 percent of the energy produced will come from a renewable source. Fossil fuels will still need to be part of our energy mix, but as time goes on, its role will be as a standby source rather than a primary source.

Return to the April 2019 Issue