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Massive, game-changing iron air battery farm coming to Minnesota

Massive, game-changing iron air battery farm coming to Minnesota
Massive, game-changing iron air battery farm coming to Minnesota 02:22

BECKER, Minn. -- Xcel Energy will soon add iron air batteries to its growing portfolio of renewable energy initiatives after inking a new deal with the Massachusetts-based Form Energy.

The batteries are part of a 10 megawatt system designed to store energy for up to 100 hours, an exponentially higher number than the capacity of lithium-ion batteries.

"We're on track to reduce our electric system carbon emissions 80% by 2030 and to deliver carbon-free electricity by 2050," Xcel Chairman and CEO Bob Frenzel said. "As we build more renewable energy into our systems, our partnership with Form Energy opens the door to significantly improve how we deliver carbon-free energy so that we can continue to provide reliable and affordable electric service to our customers well into the future."

Great River Energy, a Minnesota-based consortium of energy distributors, also has an agreement with Form Energy to test the new batteries.  

Xcel Energy

Minnesota carbon emissions down 23%

Indeed, the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy has been going on for years in Minnesota, and a new report details significant progress.

Minnesota's Pollution Control Agency reported a 23% overall drop in greenhouse gas emissions between 2005 and 2020 across all industries, with a major assist coming from utility companies.

"The significant decrease is mainly a result of producing electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar instead of coal," the agency explained. "Minnesota's utilities have made major commitments to continue the clean energy transition. We can expect emissions to steadily decline from this sector in the coming years."

MPCA also reported that Minnesota is on track to meet updated goals to reduce emissions 50% by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

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