Minnesota Power issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for up to 300 MW of solar energy to come online by 2027.
The RFP follows the approval of the utility’s 2021 Integrated Resource Plan by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The plan also includes retiring the company’s remaining coal-fired plant, Boswell Energy Center Unit 3, by the end of 2029, with Unit 4 ending coal operations in 2035. Boswell Unit 3 provides 335 MW of capacity and Unit 4 provides 468 MW.
As part of its EnergyForward strategy for a carbon-free energy future, Minnesota Power says it seeks cost-effective solar resources that are within its service territory with direct interconnections to the company’s transmission system, with a preference for projects in communities that have generation resources impacted by the company’s decarbonization plans.
Minnesota Power says it will consider multiple power supply options to meet its customers’ solar resource needs, including build-own-transfer and power purchase agreement projects along with self-build projects. Proposals will be accepted through Jan. 5, 2024.
In the coming weeks, Minnesota Power will be releasing a notice for another RFP for up to 400 MW of wind as identified in the 2021 Integrated Resource Plan approval.
In 2017, Minnesota Power announced its portfolio would be 44 percent renewable by 2025. The original goal of the EnergyForward plan was for Minnesota Power to generate one-third of its power from renewable sources. Minnesota Power wants its mix to be more than 70% renewable by 2030, and the utility is aiming for an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2035.
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