Minnesota Power

From Global Energy Monitor

Minnesota Power (MP) "is a division of ALLETE and provides electricity in a 26,000-square-mile electric service territory located in northeastern Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin. Minnesota Power supplies retail electric service to 144,000 retail customers and wholesale electric service to 16 municipalities. Minnesota Power's transmission and distribution components include 8,866 miles of lines and 169 substations."[1]

Existing Coal Plants

Coal-fired steam plants account for about 65 percent of MP’s generation:[2]

Plant State Year(s) Built Capacity Status
Clay Boswell Energy Center MN 1958, 1960, 1963, 1980 1,073 MW Unit 3 and 4 Operating
Taconite Harbor Energy Center MN 1957, 1967 252 MW Retiring in 2020
Syl Laskin Energy Center MN 1953 116 MW Converted to Natural Gas

Other generation Sources:[3]

  • Square Butte is the designation of a high voltage direct current transmission line between the Milton R. Young Station near Center, North Dakota and the Arrowhead converter station near Adolph, MN. Under contract expiring at the end of 2026, MP gets about 50 percent (322 MW) of output of the 455-MW coal-fired unit near Center, N.D.
  • Rapids Energy Center is a 30 MW biomass/coal facility in Grand Rapids that provides Blandin Paper Company with steam, compressed air, and electrical energy. Wood waste material (biomass) from the paper mill and local forest product companies is burned in conjunction with coal in two high pressure boilers to produce steam.

Boswell Upgrade

In September 2009 MP began a $240 million upgrade to its Boswell Energy Center in Cohasset, including eight stories of scaffolding inside a huge boiler and a new $13 million high-pressure turbine. Expectations are for mercury emissions to be reduced by 90 percent, nitrogen oxides by 81 percent, sulfur dioxide by 90 percent and its particulate matter by 93 percent, according to Minnesota Power's vice president of generation Al Rudeck Jr.

In response, the National Parks Conservation Association joined a formal request for Minnesota to change its haze-reduction plan, requiring plants to update pollution controls and curb air emissions when making upgrades to better protect public lands and area residents.

Most of the costs for Boswell has already been passed to MP's customers in the form of higher rates, but Rudeck said the utility still aims to recoup some of its investment through another rate increase, which it will seek next year, the size of which has yet to be determined.[4]

Contact Info

Minnesota Power
30 West Superior Street
Duluth, Minnesota 55802
Phone: 218-723-7400
Website: http://www.mnpower.com/

Articles and Resources


  1. "Minnesota Power Facts" Minnesota Power Website, August 2009.
  2. "Minnesota Power" Allete Website, September 2009
  3. "Minnesota Power Regulated and Unregulated Generation Sources" Minnesota Power Website, August 2009.
  4. Peter Passi "Minnesota Power coal plant upgrade stimulates Iron Range economy" Duluth News Tribune, September 6, 2009

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