December 27, 2018
I recently was lucky enough to take a tour of the facility during winter break with other council members and city staff. There were two separate tours to avoid a quorum. This is something I have long wanted to do, being the science nerd that I am and all. In fact, in many of my classes power and energy is a regular topic as it blends into many subject areas. So, getting a first hand visit was also meaningful to my classroom teaching as well.
We had a presentation at the beginning of our tour to learn more about the fuel assemblies, spent fuel storage, and the energy structure and tax valuations in Minnesota.
On the tour we saw the turbines and generators! I wish I could have take photos to show you all. The turbines were spinning so fast! We also saw the control room and three water systems. Finally, we all braved the freezing rain and layers of ice on the ground to walk out to the dry cask storage as well. Somethings you just have to see with your own eyes! I really appreciated the opportunity to learn more about our local Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant. I probably walked away with more questions, but that’s the fun of learning: The more you learn the more you learn you don’t know.
I have also met with representatives from the Coalition of Utility Cities. Again to talk about the structure of energy throughout Minnesota and tax valuations for our utility companies.
Hopefully Minnesota will see some legislation, currently called House File 1985 (HF 1985) that will help to stabilize the tax valuations of the utilities and make taxes more predictable for cities and utilities. City Council had a presentation from the Coalition of Utility Cities on January, 14, 2019 if you want to check that out on the agenda and video site.
photo by Xcel Energy