Minnesota Power says its customers now get half of their energy from renewable sources.
The achievement underscores the success of Minnesota Power’s EnergyForward strategy of moving to cleaner energy sources while meeting customer expectations for reliable, affordable power. The company reached this milestone when the Nobles 2 wind project in southwest Minnesota went online this month.
“Minnesota Power’s next biennial integrated resource plan is expected to be submitted to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in February,” said Julie Pierce, vice president of strategy and planning for Minnesota Power. “This plan will outline scenarios for the thoughtful transition of our coal units at Boswell 3 and 4, the next steps for the transition to even more renewables, and more investments in the grid to improve reliability while maintaining the affordability and health of our communities and opportunities for our employees. “
Nobles 2 is the second project this year to help Minnesota Power reach the 50% renewable energy mark. The first was the Great Northern Transmission Line, which received power last June. This 500 kV line will provide 250 MW of Manitoba Hydro’s carbon-free hydropower to Minnesota Power customers. Innovative power purchase agreements with Manitoba Hydro include a unique wind power supply that gives Minnesota Power the flexibility to offset its intermittent wind energy in North Dakota with hydropower available when needed.
As part of Minnesota Power’s EnergyForward strategy, the company has:
- – Reduction of CO2 emissions by 50% from 2005 to today
- – Seven out of nine coal-fired power plants are retired or idle
- – The energy mix was expanded to include almost 900 MW of wind energy
- – 11 MW of solar energy added, with plans to add another 20 MW by 2021
- – The reliability and resilience of transmission and distribution systems has been improved