The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has approved Minnesota Power’s plan to add more wind-generated electricity, add some hydro and natural-gas-generated electricity and to continue burning coal as well.
The commission on Wednesday approved the utility’s 2013 energy roadmap outlining how Minnesota Power plans to provide energy for its customers at a fair cost while also moving to reduce its impact on the environment.
In the plan, which is required by the state every two or three years, Minnesota Power also confirms plans to convert its Hoyt Lakes plant to natural gas by 2015 and to retire one of three coal units at Taconite Harbor on the North Shore of Lake Superior. The company expects no loss in jobs through the transitions.
Minnesota Power says costs will go up as utilities transition to cleaner energy, but that the plan approved Wednesday will provide the lowest-cost path to serve its customers.
Environmental groups had hoped to push the PUC and the utility away from making improvements to existing coal-fired power plants and instead phase those plants out and add additional wind and solar power.