The cost of deploying wind and solar energy continued to decline significantly in Minnesota last year, and wind — even without federal tax subsidies — may be the state’s cheapest source of new electricity.
Those conclusions were included in a report released Monday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which annually surveys the U.S. power generation sector for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, an industry-led group.
The cost of new wind and solar power facilities in Minnesota fell by 16 percent and 23 percent respectively in 2018 over the previous year, the report found.
The “levelized cost” of new, unsubsidized wind energy came in at $38 per megawatt hour (MWh), which takes into account the cost to build a power plant and its total power output, according to the Bloomberg analysis. Bloomberg didn’t have a state-by-state breakout of the levelized cost of natural gas. But wind in Minnesota is particularly cheap.
“Minnesota has access to some of the best wind resources in the U.S.,” the Bloomberg report said. “As a result … new wind build in the state is likely already at parity with new combined-cycle natural gas plants even without incentives.”