Minnesota utility seeks to expand its solar and wind energy capacity

August 2, 2016 0 By John Max

Minnesota Power is calling for proposals to increase its clean energy capacity

Minnesota Power has released a series of requests for proposals for large-scale solar and wind energy projects. The requests for proposals is part of the utility’s EnergyForward strategy. The strategy aims to diversify Minnesota’s power supply, which will allow the utility to better serve consumers. One of the priorities of the EnergyForward initiative is to provide consumers with reliable and cost effective access to electrical power.

State continues to invest in renewable energy

Minnesota Power will be evaluating the proposals it receives to determine if proposed projects are useful resource additions for its customers. The utility has been growing more involved in the clean energy space recently. Both solar and wind energy have become an important focus for Minnesota as a whole, with the state government looking to invest more heavily in clean power. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved Minnesota Power’s EnergyForward plan in June of this year and encouraged the company to consider incorporating more solar and wind energy resources.

Minnesota seeks to increase wind energy capacity by 300 MW

Wind Energy - Wind Farm at SunriseThe utility is currently seeking proposals for up to 300 megawatts worth of wind energy generation. The utility already has some 625 megawatts of wind capacity as part of its generation system and is seeking to expand this capacity considerably. Minnesota Power is also looking to purchase electricity from existing wind farms. This will allow the company to take advantage of the federal Production Tax Credit, which exists to provide financial support for wind projects throughout the United States. The utility will purchase this electricity through long-term power purchase agreements made with wind farm operators.

State is becoming a very attractive market for clean power

Demand for renewable energy has been growing in Minnesota for some time. Homeowners, in particular, believe that clean power can be less expensive than conventional forms of energy. Many homeowners have begun investing in solar power systems in the hopes of lowering their energy bills. This growing demand for clean power has made Minnesota an extremely attractive market for energy developers that specialize in both solar and wind energy.

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