Customers of Minnesota Power utility would reportedly see 50% of their day-to-day energy demands fulfilled from renewable sources from now on as the utility firm becomes one Minnesota’s first utility to facilitate 50% clean energy to its patrons.
The latest achievement underscores the success of the ‘EnergyForward’ strategy formulated by Minnesota Power to transition the grid to renewable sources of energy while addressing consumer expectations of affordable and reliable electricity. The firm made this achievement when the southwestern Minnesota-based Nobles 2 wind project came online in December.
President and CEO, ALLETE, Bethany Owen stated that the company is committed to ensuring a sustainable future of affordable, reliable, and growingly lower-carbon based energy for the communities as well as its customers. This is a crucial milestone in the company’s clean energy transition, from almost completely relying upon coal to providing 50% clean energy, it has accomplished this while retaining its residential utility rates at the lowest across Minnesota while also enhancing the reliability of its system.
The Nobles 2 wind energy project would supply clean energy to the utility through a two-decade PPA (power purchase agreement). Additionally, the wind project is also a valuable investment for ALLETE. The project is under the ownership of Nobles 2 Power Partners LLC, with its investor list including a subsidiary of ALLETE, energy firm Tenaska as well as Bright Canyon Energy.
The Minnesota Power wind portfolio has expanded to approximately 870 MW of contracted and owned wind capacity with Nobles 2 going into operation. Moreover, the addition of Nobles 2 wind also adds more geographic diversity to the company’s wind portfolio, further complementing its contracts and wind sites in North Dakota.
Apart from achieving this clean energy milestone, the state utility is also making additional plans and formulating strategies to further transform its power supply.
Vice President of Strategy and Planning, Minnesota Power, Julie Pierce, stated that the company’s next biennial Integrated Resource Plan has been scheduled to be filed in February to Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.