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Industry News

Minnesota Power Announces Vision for 100 Percent Carbon-Free Energy by 2050

LCG, January 13, 2021--Minnesota Power, an ALLETE company, yesterday announced its vision to deliver 100 percent carbon-free energy to customers by 2050. Minnesota Power's upcoming Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) will outline its clean-energy transition over the next 15 years, including plans to increase its renewable energy supply to 70 percent by 2030, to achieve a coal-free energy supply by 2035, plus a target to achieve an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2035 compared to 2005 levels. Minnesota Power plans to submit the IRP to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) on February 1, and the company anticipates a final decision later this year.

ALLETE's President and CEO stated, "We are proud to be the first Minnesota utility to provide 50 percent renewable energy, but as we said when we reached this exciting milestone in December, our transformation to a sustainable energy future is not yet complete. As a clean energy leader, we are meeting the challenge of climate change with a reliable energy supply while keeping costs affordable for customers in this region."

Minnesota Power's announcement yesterday outlined some of the actions planned in the upcoming IRP. First, the company plans to add an estimated 400 MW of wind and solar energy so as to offset the retirement of the Boswell Energy Center Unit 3, a 335-MW coal-fired unit, by 2030. By 2035, the company intends to transition the 468-MW Boswell Unit 4 from coal to another fuel, such as natural gas or biomass, depending upon technology advancements.

In recent years, Minnesota Power has made substantial changes, and it has transformed its energy supply away from being over 95 percent reliant on coal. Since 2013, the company has closed or converted seven of its nine coal-fired units and added nearly 900 MW of renewable energy sources.

"For Minnesota Power, this plan is about more than achieving the most significant sustainability goal in our long history - it is about becoming 100 percent carbon-free the right way," said ALLETE's President and CEO. "Our diverse customer base relies on us to continue to provide reliable and affordable energy. We also believe it is critically important that our transition to carbon-free energy takes into account the needs of our employees and the residents of communities that have hosted our generation plants. By embracing this vision, Minnesota Power and our employees will continue to support the quality of life that has made our residents, businesses and community organizations choose this region as their home."
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