North Dakota has a giant battery. The Garrison Dam is capable of storing a massive amount of energy. The dam is capable of producing almost 600 megawatts of electricity.

Those who complain about the unreliability of wind power don’t see how the dam can be coordinated with wind power. It is actually very simple. When wind is abundant, shut down the dam to the smallest feasible output. This in effect stores energy that can be released when the wind power is low.

Is this being done? The Army Corp of Engineers should make the answer public, and give us all an explanation of how wind is coordinated with hydro power. Many of the problems associated with power production can be easily solved with no inconvenience. When electricity is in short supply, why do we run electric slot machines to rob people? Why do we light up billboards and parking lots all night, why does a store like Walmart have 20 televisions turned on 24 hours a day?

The major problems with our power system are waste and mismanagement. it is not the ability to produce the power we need. With modern technology the silly uses of electricity like fountains and advertising can be shut down when scarcity occurs, but our leaders have shown us innovation is not their strong card.

Mike Quinn lives in Bismarck.

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