A SECOND LOOK AT GSDC ANNUAL REPORT AND 2021 HIGHLIGHTS
GSDC investors and staff made a lot happen in 2021, which we recap in our 2021 annual report as well as a six-minute video of GSDC highlights many of you helped make possible. Be sure to watch our new, 60-second overview of how your company can use our St. Cloud Shines campaign to help retain and attract employees.
GUIDE TO CENTRAL MINNESOTA COMMUNITIES NOW ONLINE
The GSDC’s ongoing St. Cloud Shines marketing effort expands this week with the online launch of “Getting to Know Greater St. Cloud.” This colorful and lively 50-page tour of all that our communities have to offer will be another useful tool for attracting workforce, residents and business to our region.
XCEL PLAN APPROVED TO REDUCE CARBON EMMISIONS BY 85%
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved Xcel Energy’s Upper Midwest Energy Plan this past week. Implementation will lead to a more than 85% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, compared to Xcel’s 2005 levels. We congratulate Xcel Energy on its impressive efforts and results.
The approval follows several years of Xcel’s work with stakeholders to ensure they continue to lead the clean energy transition while ensuring reliability and keeping bills low for customers.
The approved plan includes more wind and solar, retiring all Xcel coal plants, extending the Monticello nuclear plant’s license to 2040, and building on Xcel Energy’s successful energy efficiency and demand response programs.
Key elements of the plan include:
- Retiring all Upper Midwest coal plants by 2030.
- Dramatically increasing wind and solar energy, building 2,150 MW of new wind and 2,500 MW of new solar by 2032. The plan also includes an additional approximately 1,100 MW of renewables beyond 2032.
- Ensuring reliable, affordable energy by extending the generation of carbon-free nuclear energy at Xcel’s Monticello plant an additional 10 years to 2040.
- Building on Xcel’s successful energy efficiency programs to help customers save energy and money and working with customers on new demand response options to manage the energy load.
New transmission infrastructure would connect more clean energy to the grid, re-using important grid connections near coal plants as they close and helping ensure reliable service for customers. The approval allows Xcel Energy to move forward with this project, with additional filings and approvals needed as it progresses.
NEW CHILDCARE PROGRAM CREATED TO HELP FAMILIES
Area employers and employees now have another resource for quality, affordable childcare. The Central Minnesota Child Care Rescue Fund was created by the United Way of Central Minnesota, in cooperation with many supporting partners, including the GSDC. The goal is to heighten the awareness of this key community need and identify potential solutions for area families that need such support. Learn more.
WE DO BETTER BECAUSE WE WORK TOGETHER
By Sen. Aric Putnam
I’m grateful to the Greater Saint Cloud Development Corporation for allowing me an opportunity to write this column and reflect on the strength of our community. I’m not from here originally, but I’ve lived in Central Minnesota for over 20 years. It’s not where I’m from, but it is what I’ve chosen, a place where I belong, my home, yet still a place I admire.
I’m not alone in my appreciation of our community. When I visit with colleagues in the legislature and tell them about the people of Central Minnesota and the work we do, they try to hide their envy. When I tell them that Career Solutions is helping the Central Minnesota Empowerment Organization and Hands Across the World to grow skills and jobs and that the Boys and Girls Club is partnering with the Rotary club to provide preschool to young people in need, they are flabbergasted, surprised that folks who might compete instead choose to collaborate. This character, the character of our community, isn’t an accident. It’s a result of leadership, leadership like that practiced by the GSDC, the work they do and how they do it.
We often think of leadership as the power to make your vision manifest or to lead followers. But I don’t think that’s what true leadership is. When I hear legislators brag about what they have done, I blanche. Nothing gets done in St. Paul unless someone else agrees to it. So, it’s silly to claim you did something. Other people helped. They always do, with every accomplishment. Similarly, nothing is sold unless someone else buys, no one can teach without a student to learn, and there’s no employer without employees. I believe true leadership grows from this awareness, from having the confidence and the humility to collaborate. In our community we are lucky to have the GSDC to model and promote our character, a character truly worthy of admiration.
When it comes down to it, in Central Minnesota we prove our values in every project, every day. We know that one success is not predicated on the failure of another. We know that when we all do better, we all become greater.
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