Minnesota Power has filed an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. This long-range plan lays out the utility’s investments over the next 15 years, which is why it is critical that the plan puts Minnesota’s climate goals, community health, and cost-effective decision-making first.
The current plan has some elements that need closer scrutiny, and the Commission and Minnesota Power need to hear from customers to ensure they move forward with a plan that is forward-thinking, cost-effective, and good for both Minnesota Power customers and our climate.
Join Fresh Energy in asking the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to:
- Remove plans for a new combined cycle gas power plant and add more renewables. Robust energy modeling shows that the Nemadji Trail Energy Center, the new combined cycle gas plant Minnesota Power plans to build in Superior, Wisconsin, is not needed for reliability and is a financial liability for customers. An alternative clean energy plan that includes building new wind, solar, and battery storage would be far less risky for customers and sets a path for a long-term clean energy solution.
- Retire coal plants. Running coal plants less often and retiring plants ahead of schedule should be a priority for Minnesota Power and all utilities as they continue adding more new renewables and battery storage to their energy mix.
- Prioritize the health of residents in power plant communities. Burning coal, gas, oil, and biomass at places like power plants produces both greenhouse gases and hazardous air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter, and heavy metals. Living near power plants is associated with adverse health outcomes, such as premature births and asthma, and sensitive populations such as the young and the elderly are most at risk. Moreover, in many places power plants are disproportionately located in under-resourced communities and communities of color, raising equity concerns. We need to break this cycle and put the health of community residents first.
Need more info on Integrated Resource Plans? Read our explainer for a deeper dive into the process.
If you’re a Minnesota Power customer, you can speak up using our easy online form with sample comments drafted to get you started. Fresh Energy will file the comment on your behalf on April 29 at noon.