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Think of these words coming directly from the mouths of top energy resource companies in the Midwest:

  • “The formula has changed … the opportunity of a generation.”

And this:

  • “Wind is quickly becoming the new baseload. … To be viable going forward, all the other sources of [energy] generation must be flexible enough to be supplemental to the wind.”

But what about coal? one might think on hearing that second quotation, from David Saggau, CEO and President of Great River Energy in Minnesota. “That’s been turned on its head now.”

That first quotation above comes from Patricia Poppe, CEO of CMS Energy in Michigan. She points to efficiency gains in HVAC systems, buildings, and lighting as paving the way for per capita energy consumption to decline as use of renewables increases. While there long had been few choices beyond coal for replacing aging baseload power plants, the go-to resource is turning increasingly to “modular renewables, because it’s smarter,” says Poppe. That approach allows energy companies to first consider renewables to meet increasing demand, “to add the supply at the time we need to.”

In this latest “This is Not Cool” original video by independent videographer Peter Sinclair, of Midland, Michigan, Saggau captures the mood towards renewables, saying “It’s kind of an exciting thing right now. Get your mind around that.”

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