"Your Green Life": Hydro Power

By KBJR News 1

June 8, 2012 Updated Jun 8, 2012 at 9:04 AM CDT

Thomson, MN
In the last couple weeks the Northland has received copious amounts of rainfall.
This lead to flooding and damage to roads, but Minnesota Power is using the water to provide a clean and sustainable energy source.

Nora Rosemore. the Hydro Operation Superintendent at MN Power said, "In a normal spring flows would be decreasing now, we would be starting to just run part of the day for the high demand periods of the day and we're able to run full out now because we have this water, so we use it when we have it."

When the rivers run high, Minnesota Power uses as much of that energy as possible.
Instead of storing the electricity in a big battery, what they do is actually store rain water in a reservoir, like the Thomson Reservoir right behind me, that way they have clean electricity to use throughout the winter months.

"Per hour at full out, Thomson produces 72 mega–watts, an average house uses about 1000 Kilo–watts." said Rosemore.

That's a clean 72 mega watts of electricity that will supply enough power for 72,000 homes.
Hydroelectric power not only leaves a small environmental impact, but it's the cheapest way to mass produce electricity because its fuel source is renewable, and reusable.

Rosemore says, "Our fuel is the water and we're using the water just as its flowing through. We're not taking anything out of it, adding anything to it, we're not changing the temperature, we're just using it as it's flowing by. And on the St. Louis river system we use that same water four times."

The four stations stretching from Night Falls, to Scanlon, through the Thomson and ending in Fond Du Lac all are reusing the same water that already produced electricity up stream.
Minnesota Power is continually trying to improve their environmental footprint and will be meeting sustainable goals early with another form of green power in the form of air.

"By the end of this year we should be meeting our Minnesota Mandate of having 20% renewable by 2020, and we will be meeting that early with our wind projects in North Dakota." said Bonny Carlson, the Manager of MN Renewables.