Minnesota’s heating fuel sources should be adequate for winter, legislators told

Minnesota legislators were told Wednesday that if the moderate winter weather continues, supplies of propane and wood for heating, as well as coal for generating electricity, should be adequate this year.

But another polar vortex, like last winter, could strain supplies.

The Fargo Forum reports that Dave Christianson of the Minnesota Department of Transportation updated the Minnesota Legislative Energy Commission, and said: “We are at the whim of mother nature at this point.”

Coal supplies at state power plants fell to 10 percent of capacity at one point this year, because of rail line delays. Coal supplies are now higher and rail delays are easing, which should allow the plants to beef up the supplies, as long as the weather cooperates, the story said.Wood and propane suppliers, too, said that another deep-freeze like last winter would create problems, the story said. Overall, propane supplies have improved, but fire-wood is in short supply and about 130,000 Minnesotans use fire wood as their primary heat source, officials said.

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