Welcome to North Dakota winter! There is significant debate in our legislature regarding “clean” energy like solar and wind vs. coal, oil, and gas. While not an engineer, I believe the various energy sources will need to coexist for decades to come. To believe our energy needs can be satisfied by only wind and solar is highly suspect. If you follow Florida Power & Light’s Manatee Project, it provides some interesting information. The project builds the largest battery storage system in the world. It will cover 40 square acres and be four times the size of the world’s largest system currently in operation. Although I tried, I could not find the cost for the project nor information on the mining required to create that number of lithium batteries (I did note that Warren Buffet is a huge supporter of the project. He also owns stock in lithium mines in Nevada). What is interesting is the storage center will have the ability to distribute 900 megawatt hours of electricity, “enough to power 329,000 homes for two hours.” That is not a misprint- two hours! Maybe Florida homes only need two hours. North Dakota homes could get a bit chilly by morning in this weather. (another side note. FPL has an agreement with the Chinese firm, JinkoSolar Energy to build 30 million solar panels. America first?)
A note to our legislators. Please apply common sense when you subsidize one source of energy over another and determine the energy future for North Dakota. The sun does not always shine nor does the wind always blow and future disposal of some of these technologies will present more environmental challenges. Stay warm.