In its upcoming Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), the company will lay out next steps in its clean-energy transition over the next 15 years, with plans to expand wind and solar resources, achieve coal-free operations at its facilities by 2035 and invest in a resilient and flexible transmission and distribution grid. The IRP will be submitted to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) Feb. 1.
In the IRP, Minnesota Power will identify plans to increase its renewable energy supply to 70% by 2030 and achieve a coal-free energy supply by 2035. These steps include:
- Adding an estimated 400 new megawatts of wind and solar energy.
- Retiring Boswell Energy Center Unit 3 by 2030. (335MWs)
- Transforming Minnesota Power’s Boswell Energy Center Unit 4 (468MWs) to be coal-free by 2035.
- Investing in a modern, flexible transmission and distribution grid.
Minnesota Power has set a target to achieve an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2035 compared to 2005 levels, meeting the state’s goal for greenhouse gas reductions 15 years ahead of schedule. Like other area utilities, Minnesota Power’s plan will recognize that advances in technology will play a significant role in completing its transition to a carbon-free energy supply, reliably and affordably. The IRP filing will acknowledge the need for this flexibility.
When the IRP is submitted, the MPUC will begin a regulatory process that provides for input from customers, organizations and communities. Minnesota Power spent the past 12 months in discussions with stakeholders that helped inform the details of its IRP, including the goal of delivering 100% carbon-free energy by 2050.
A final decision on the IRP is expected later in 2021.