Minnesota Power Issues RFP for 400 MW Wind Energy

Wind turbines on farmland

(Credit: Unsplash)

by | Feb 19, 2024

This article is included in these additional categories:

Minnesota Power is seeking proposals to bring up to 400 megawatts of wind energy online by the end of 2027, increasing the company’s wind portfolio by about 50%.

The request for proposals (RFP) is a part of Minnesota Power’s EnergyForward strategy, a commitment to deliver 100% emissions-free, affordable energy to its customers. The RFP specifically calls for wind resources within the MISO Local Resource Zone 1 that include direct interconnections to the transmission system and the ability to begin commercial production in 2026 or 2027.

As the company works to benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act, Minnesota Power will also prioritize projects built in energy-impacted communities, as well as those using domestically sourced materials, following local labor for construction and permanent staffing, or developing apprenticeship programs.

“The carbon-free future must be sustainable for the climate, customers, and communities for everyone to thrive, so we seek projects that will create local jobs, local economic benefits and train people in renewable technologies,” said Josh Skelton, chief operating officer of Minnesota Power. “New wind generation in the Upper Midwest can tap into an excellent wind resource and maximize use of regional transmission assets to deliver renewable energy to our customers and fits well with our portfolio of other energy supply resources to reliably meet customer demands around the clock.”

The company will consider build-own-transfer and power purchase agreement projects, with preference for projects with a 100 MW to 200 MW capacity. Proposals will be accepted through April 11, 2024.

RFP Contributes to Integrated Resource Plan, Broader Efforts in the State

In 2021, Minnesota Power’s Integrated Resource Plan was approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, including arrangements for the company to acquire 300 MW of solar generation in addition to the 400 MW wind commitment. The 15-year proposal also includes a regulatory roadmap toward providing exclusively clean energy to its customers by 2050.

In addition to the expansion of renewable energy sources, the company plans to cease operations of its two remaining coal plants by 2035, invest in grid infrastructure to support renewables, use evolving technologies to conserve energy, and more.

In 2022, the state of Minnesota passed its Climate Action Framework, which calls for the state to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050. While still behind in terms of agricultural emissions, the state’s power sector has reportedly seen significant declines in emissions in the past few years, and Minnesota reportedly experienced a 23% emissions drop overall between 2005 and 2020.

Minnesota Power said it provides electric service over a 26,000-square-mile area in the northeastern part of the state, serving 14 municipalities and some of the largest industrial customers in the United States.

Additional articles you will be interested in.

Stay Informed

Get E+E Leader Articles delivered via Newsletter right to your inbox!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Share This