Minnesota Power increases renewable energy targets for next 15 years

Published on November 09, 2022 by Chris Galford

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Based on an agreement reached as part of its latest Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) proceedings, Minnesota Power pledged this week to pursue up to 400 MW of wind energy and 300 MW of solar energy over the next 15 years – nearly double what it had initially proposed.

The tweaking of the company’s EnergyForward plan followed pushes from clean energy organizations, labor, and host communities. Ultimately, that plan is meant to help Minnesota Power achieve a full carbon-free energy system by 2050. More storage projects will be invested to support this latest shift, and the utility will consider the transition of Boswell Energy Center.

“Before and during the state’s IRP process, we have prioritized listening and taking feedback from customers, communities, and organizations that will benefit from our clean energy transition for all,” Josh Skelton, Minnesota Power COO, said. “We are pleased that we could work with these stakeholders to reach an agreement that allows us to continue on our path to a carbon-free supply while also protecting safe and reliable energy at competitive rates.”

Some details have yet to be hammered out, though, and this should not be considered a final plan. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission still intends to hold two more hearings on the company’s IRP before voting. Further, Minnesota Power noted that other resource considerations, such as electric grid strengthening proposals and a previously approved natural gas power plant, have been deferred for other regulatory filings.