Nuclear power leaves waste that is radioactive for tens of thousands of years, uses a great deal of water, and is far more expensive than other energy sources. Minnesota is very fortunate in being one of the states with a big abundance of wind energy, enough to produce 25 times the electricity it currently uses. Wind turbines are very tall and catch the wind to produce electricity continuously, though at variable speeds.
Variation in wind produced electricity can be balanced by turning off gas plants when wind produced electricity is high and turning on the gas when the wind is producing less electricity. Neither coal nor nuclear plants can be coordinated with wind power because they cannot be quickly turned up and down like gas.
Other methods for keeping electricity supply and use in balance include allowing air conditioning to be turned off like now for a rate reduction, and postponing optional electricity use, such as for washing clothes and dishes, to lower demand times. In the future, methods of electricity storage such as batteries will also be used to feed electricity into the grid to balance supply and use. As battery powered cars become more widely used, they will be an important resource for balancing the variability of wind power by feeding electricity back into the grid when they are not in use for extended periods.
With both wind and gas available at lower cost and less risk than nuclear power, Minnesota does not need nuclear power.