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Minnesota Power, a division of ALLETE, has filed its 2013 Resource Plan with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC). Included in the plan is a call for more renewable energy and less coal-fired generation.

The comprehensive resource plan, which is required to be submitted by utilities in Minnesota to the MPUC about every two years, spans a 15-year planning period from 2013 to 2027. It assesses environmental and economic futures affecting energy supply and demand, while weighing the benefits and risks of various resource supply options.

Under the 2013 Resource Plan, the utility says it will do the following:

- Request proposals for up to 200 MW of additional wind energy following the extension of the federal production tax credit to be brought online in 2014-2015. (Proposals will be accepted by Minnesota Power through April 2. More information about the request for proposals is available here.);

- Reduce coal-fired generation on its fleet by 185 MW through the conversion of the Laskin Energy Center in Hoyt Lakes to a natural gas peaking station and the retirement of one of three units at Taconite Harbor Energy Center in Schroeder;

- Further transition the utility’s energy-supply mix toward one-third natural gas and other market resources, one-third coal, and one-third renewable energy in the long term through hydro and wind energy additions and a post-2020 natural gas generation resource;

- Continue and enhance its Power of One conservation program to meet or exceed state conservation goals of 1.5%; and

- Deliver 250 MW of hydropower under contract from Manitoba Hydro by 2020 through a proposed 500 kV transmission line, the Great Northern Transmission Line.

Minnesota Power’s Resource Plan is subject to review and approval by the MPUC. The commission is anticipated to take action on the plan by year-end.




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