skip to content
Primary navigation

Minnesota Energy Data Dashboard

Terms

Alternating Current (AC) is the form of electricity supplied by the electric grid. The polarity of the current supplied by the grid cycles from positive to negative 60 times in one second (i.e., 60 Hertz).

Direct Current (DC) is the form of electricity generated by solar photovoltaic cells where electrons flow in only one direction: from negative to positive. DC is also the type of electricity used to charge batteries and power semiconductor devices such as computers and LED lights. An inverter or power converter is used to convert electricity from DC to AC.

Capacity (also: Nameplate Capacity) is the maximum electric power an electricity generator can produce under specific conditions defined by the manufacturer. The capacity of utility-scale generators is measured in megawatts (MW). 

Energy is the amount of electricity a generator produces over a specific period of time. For example, a generator running at 1 megawatt of power that operates constantly over one hour will produce 1 megawatthour (MWh). Minnesota households used an average of 9.2 MWh/year in 2016, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

MN Electricity Generation 2000-2019

Low 2019 natural gas prices resulted in an uptick in natural gas electricity generation and a drop in electricity from coal.

Electricity Generated in Minnesota

Renewable electricity generated within state borders increased from 14% in 2009 to 26% in 2019.  Within the same timeframe, coal decreased from 56% to 31%.

MN Electricity Generation 2000-2019, decrease

In 2019, total electricity generated in Minnesota decreased 6% from 2018 levels.

Renewable Electricity Generation from renewables

In-state electricity generation from renewable sources in 2019 came from:

  • Wind: 19.1%
  • Solar: 2.6%
  • Biomass: 2.3%
  • Hydropower: 1.5%

Percent of Renewable Electricity

Minnesota is ramping up renewable-powered electricity ahead of the national average. 

Percent Coal Energy

Minnesota (and the Midwest) uses more coal than the rest of the United States for electricity generation. Minnesota is reducing coal-powered electricity at a rate similar to the United States average.

Carbon Intensity

As a result of increased renewable generation and decreased coal generation, Minnesota is decarbonizing electricity generation faster than the national average.

Carbon Intensity Changes

Minnesota is on path to a carbon intensity below the national average in 2020.

back to top