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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Thursday, July 08, 2010

    Minnesota Focus: Green Power Switch

    There are several companies in Minnesota involved in helping energy customers switch to green energy, including landfill methane gas use (which reduces methane emissions from landfills while generating energy), wind power and solar power. The cost is generally less than 3 cents per kilowatt-hour more than you currently pay for energy. By participating you contribute to reducing carbon emissions, cleaning up Minnesota's environment, and stimulating Minnesota's economy. Three important ways of helping your local community, local environment and local economy, all for less tahn 3 cents per kilowatt-hour of energy you use. When my wife and I made a similar switch in New York, we barely noticed the difference in our energy bill. We also switched to compact fluorescent bulbs at the same time and the energy savings reduced our bill by one-third even with the small increase from buying green energy. Together, we reduced our carbon footprint by about 30% while overall saving money. I highly recommend the switch.

    Evergreen Renewable Energy Program:

    Offered through the Dairyland Power Cooperative: Allamakee-Clayton/Postville, Hawkeye Tri-County/Cresco, Heartland Power/Thompson & St. Ansgar

    As a wholesale electricity supplier, Dairyland Power Cooperative is committed to providing a balanced energy supply that is reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible. As such, Dairyland has actively sought opportunities to expand our Evergreen renewable energy program, launched in 1998.

    Energy consumers have embraced renewable energy programs throughout the country. Members of the Dairyland Power Cooperative system are equally enthusiastic about our Evergreen renewable energy program.

    This program was created for Dairyland’s electric cooperative members. Dairyland’s members distribute the renewable energy to their consumers who are participants of the Evergreen program. Consumers can voluntarily support renewable energy through this program, with only a slight increase in their monthly electric bill.

    What forms of renewable energy make up Evergreen? Dairyland’s diverse “green” portfolio includes wind, landfill gas-to-energy and animal waste-to-energy. Dairyland also supplies renewable energy to member cooperatives from our 24 MW Flambeau Hydro Station near Ladysmith, Wis. Click on the links below to learn more.

    Dairyland's Renewable Energy Resources (PDF)

    Frequently Asked Questions about the Evergreen renewable energy program (PDF)

    Austin Utilities Solar Choice Program:

    SOLARCHOICE makes solar electricity affordable today by connecting customers that want to produce solar electricity with other customers that want to support the development of renewable energy by paying a small premium on their utility bill. Customers can actively promote the development of local renewable energy in their communities by becoming either SOLARCHOICE producers or SOLARCHOICE purchasers.

    SOLARCHOICE is unique in that it encourages the installation of local, clean, renewable energy by relying on free-market supply and demand principles rather than rebates, tax incentives, or other government subsidies. This allows our customers to choose whether or not they want to support renewable energy development in their community. Your support of SOLARCHOICE is essentially a vote for renewable energy...

    Becoming a SOLAR CHOICE purchaser is easy. Simply fill in the information below and click Submit. You can also contact the Energy Services Department at 507-433-8886. They will be happy to assist you.


    RiverWinds: wind energy; cost: 2.0¢/kWh-2.5¢/kWh

    RiverWinds is a program created by Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) to bring low-cost, environmentally friendly wind power to municipal utilities and their customers in the Northern Plains.

    Wind energy is the world’s fastest growing renewable energy source, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Choosing wind power is a smart choice because it is one of the cheapest and cleanest renewable energy sources available.

    MRES launched its RiverWinds program in 2002 to address the interest shown by MRES members customers in buying more of their energy from renewable resources. The program also was designed to meet requirements by some states that utilities offer a green energy program for their customers. Strong commitments to the efficient use of energy and to the protection of the environment and our natural resources have long been important factors in how MRES conducts business. The RiverWinds program is a natural extension of those commitments.

    If your energy supplier is one of the following, you can sign up for RiverWinds:

    Missouri River Energy Services: Alton, Atlantic, Denison, Fontanelle, Hartley, Hawarden, Kimballton, Lake Park, Manilla, Orange City, Paullina, Primghar, Remsen, Rock Rapids, Sanborn, Shelby, Sioux Center, Woodbine

    For more info, here is a brochure (PDF)

    To find out how you can participate, email here: mailman@mrenergy.com

    Minnesota Power's Renewable Energy Option:

    innesota Power's new renewable wind energy program is taking flight. Now, residential and small commercial customers can support the purchase of electric energy that has been produced by the wind.

    For almost 100 years, Minnesota Power has produced your electricity primarily from two energy sources: low sulfur, western coal and renewable hydropower. Through the terms of a 15-year agreement, Minnesota Power is purchasing half the output of three new wind generators owned by Great River Energy at Chandler Hills Wind Farm in southwestern Minnesota...

    To purchase electricity produced by the wind, you can call 722-5642 ext. 2824 or 1-800-228-4966(Minnesota only) ext. 2824 and ask for a WindSense brochure. It includes a postage-paid subscription agreement for you to fill out and return. Or you can print the subscription agreement here and mail it in. Please allow at least six weeks for your WindSense subscription to be noted on your bill.

    Minnkota Power Cooperative's Infinity Wind Energy program

    In response to the wind energy offering, more than 2,000 customers of the cooperatives associated with Minnkota and the municipals associated with the Northern Municipal Power Agency (NMPA) have subscribed to purchase the entire output of a 900-kilowatt (kW) turbine located on a ridge six miles east of Valley City, North Dakota. The turbine was commissioned on January 25, 2002, and began commercial operation on that day.

    Minnkota also owns and operates a second wind turbine located on a ridge three miles east of Petersburg, North Dakota. This turbine became operational on July 12, 2002...

    For more information on the Infinity program, call Al Tschepen, Vice President of Planning and System Operations, at (701) 795-4204

    Moorhead Public Service Capture The Wind Program

    Residents and businesses now had the opportunity to participate in the operation of renewable, wind power, right here in Moorhead. On December 16, 1998 MPS staff and Commission members broke ground on the first of two wind turbines built in north Moorhead.

    The program's successful launch was noted in the first Capture the Wind® newsletter in the spring of 1999:

    "Moorhead Public Service customers have quickly and enthusiastically supported electricity generated by wind. In less than three weeks, the Capture The Wind program reached its goal, with more than 400 customers signing up to participate as Charter Members. Your response shows our community's commitment to support clean, renewable energy projects."

    Thanks Moorhead, for making this a successful program. If you are interested in participating in the Capture the Wind® program, please contact the MPS offices at 218-299-5400 or by e-mail at mps@mpsutility.com


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