Latest News

Minnesota Energy Resources introduces new resource to save money and help the environment

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)-- Minnesota Energy Resources introduces a new resource that will allow their customers save money and help the environment. The energy company gave away free water conservation kits.

The kits come with low-flow shower heads, faucet aerators, and other easy to install tools. Read more

When Relying On The Sun, Energy Storage Remains Out Of Reach

The ability to store energy could revolutionize the way we make and use electricity. But for many utility companies and regular folks, energy storage is still way out of reach. It's expensive — sometimes more expensive than building out old-fashioned infrastructure like power lines and power plants.

For people like Jim and Lyn Schneider, their decision to invest in battery storage came four years ago when they moved to central Wyoming.

Their backyard is filled with sagebrush and ringed by red rocks on one side and wide-open prairie on another. They love it. But when the Schneiders bought this land, it was missing one thing — electricity.

The utility company was going to charge them around $80,000 to bring electricity to the property. Installing solar panels and batteries was also expensive, but about $30,000 less. Read more

How hard will it be for MN to hit clean energy targets?

President Obama has a plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants, but what does that mean for Minnesota? The short answer: It's complicated.

The question that remains is how much Minnesota's progress to this point has helped.

In a way, the state of Minnesota was prepared for this moment. It's been more than a year since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its proposed Clean Power Plan with targets for each state, and some here in Minnesota balked.

That's because states like North Dakota had really low targets, while Minnesota and other states that had already been working to clean up their energy sources were stuck with bigger reductions. Read more

CenterPoint Energy files to change natural gas distribution rates for customers in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- CenterPoint Energy CNP, +0.31% today filed an application with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) to change the company's natural gas distribution rates. If approved, the new rates would generate approximately $54 million or 6 percent in additional revenue on an annual basis. The effect on individual monthly bills will vary depending on natural gas use. If approved, the net impact of the new rates will increase the average residential customer's bill by about $5 per month. Read more

Storm strengthens Minnesota Power-Brainerd lakes partnership

The catastrophic storm that blew through the Brainerd lakes area July 12 tested Crow Wing County and it tested Minnesota Power. I came to your beautiful area in the wake of the storm to size up the damage to our utility operations and impact on customers and communities. I came away with images of an extraordinary storm and an equally extraordinary response, resourceful and resilient people working together to solve challenges that only Mother Nature is powerful enough to create. What I saw filled me with gratitude for the perseverance residents displayed and the patience they showed as they waited for their Minnesota Power crews to hack through blocked roads, clear downed trees, rebuild the poles, reconnect the wires and restore electricity. We are in the security, comfort and quality of life business and when that's interrupted, we respond. I couldn't be more proud of the many Minnesota Power line workers and support teams who responded to this crisis.

Brainerd Dispatch Read more

MINNEAPOLIS- Xcel Energy crews have restored nearly all of the 250,000 customers who lost service early Saturday morning due to severe storms.

MINNEAPOLIS- Xcel Energy crews have restored nearly all of the 250,000 customers who lost service early Saturday morning due to severe storms. Currently, just 400 customers remain without service from the weekend event, all in the metro area. Read more

Xcel Energy's large coal-fired generators at Becker face pressure for retirement

Xcel Energy Inc. is facing fresh pressure from clean-energy groups — and for the first time from a state agency — to curtail at least some coal burning at its giant Sherco generating station in Becker, Minn.

The plant on the banks of the Mississippi River is Xcel’s largest power plant, with three generators constructed in the 1970s and 1980s. It also is the state’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide linked to climate change, according to federal data.

The state Commerce Department, which analyzes Xcel’s power plant needs on behalf of ratepayers, recently recommended the utility convert one of the two older Sherco units to burn natural gas in 2025. Clean-energy groups want state regulators to require Xcel, the state’s largest power company, to retire both of the older Sherco units even earlier.

Star Tribune Read more

Otter Tail Power Co. finishes pollution upgrades to plant that may be closed

Otter Tail Power Co. is nearly finished and under budget with its $384 million pollution-control upgrade of the coal-burning Big Stone power plant in South Dakota that it co-owns with two other utilities, the Fergus Falls-based electric utility said last week.

The number of on-site construction workers declined from 650 to 175 in the second quarter, when the large generator just across the Minnesota-South Dakota border was shut down for the final stage of work.

The plant, which supplies 36 percent of Otter Tail customers’ power, is expected to be back online in August, after the repair of recently discovered cracks in turbine blades, the utility told Minnesota regulators.

Star Tribune Read more

Xcel Energy crews continue to restore power in wake of severe storms

MINNEAPOLIS - Xcel Energy crews have made significant progress in restoring service to customers who were impacted by the major thunderstorms that hit Minnesota and Wisconsin after midnight. Read more

Is natural gas the next coal?

With a focus on clean power, coal is being retired. But what will take its place as the leading source of electricity in the United States? It turns out -- something already has. Read more