Climate Cast: Green energy boom in the Midwest

Dean Tofteland sprays his fields.
Dean Tofteland drives his tractor and sprays one of his fields amongst wind turbines north of Luverne, Minn.
Jackson Forderer | MPR News 2014
Climate Cast
Every Thursday, MPR meteorologist Paul Huttner joins Kerri Miller to talk about the latest research on our changing climate and the consequences we're seeing here in Minnesota and worldwide.
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Xcel Energy is building wind projects that will produce as much energy as two nuclear power plants.

That's great for the environment, but employment is also benefiting from the need for more wind and solar energy.

Chris Clark, Xcel's president of Minnesota and the Dakotas, told chief meteorologist Paul Huttner that part of the reason they're able to integrate more wind energy into their system is because the industry has matured.

"The equipment has become more efficient, we're able to capture much more of the energy value from the wind," said Clark.

Wind energy is also cheaper to generate, making it more cost effective to have wind energy in the system.

Clark said they're seeing the same with solar.

"Solar is certainly improving. We still think it has a ways to go before it's competing as well as wind is on price," he said.

To hear more from Clark, use the audio player above.

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