Latest News

Minnesota Power says power back on to another 2,000 customers in the Brainerd Lakes area

Minnesota Power has restored power to nearly 2,000 customers in the past 24 hours in the storm damaged Brainerd Lakes area. Electric service has been restored to portions of Gull Lake, Nisswa and Round Lake as crews energized substations and several primary feeders (main power lines) in the area and are now moving into neighborhoods. Read more

CenterPoint Energy to conduct pipeline inspection work

MINNEAPOLIS – July 14, 2015 – CenterPoint Energy will perform planned pipeline inspection work on a natural gas pipeline located near Highway 13 and Cedar Avenue in Eagan, July 14 through July 30.While the testing will not pose a threat to the public, a flame may be visible at intermittent times and a loud roaring noise may be heard throughout the process. The majority of the work will take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. however, this time frame could be extended to complete particular tests. Read more

Community solar coming to Xcel Energy customers

Galen Naber wants the electricity for his home to come from the sun. But he doesn't think solar panels would look good on his small home and nearby trees likely would cover the panels in shade before long.

Yet Naber can still achieve his solar-energy goal thanks to a community solar garden that likely will be miles from his Roseville, Minn., home. He and other Xcel Energy customers soon will be able to receive power from community solar gardens. After a concerted effort by the utility to limit them, they will come online in Minnesota by the end of the year. Read more

Coal-fired operations to end at Taconite Harbor Energy Center; plant will be idled in 2016

As part of the company's shift away from smaller coal-fired plants, Duluth-based Minnesota Power will idle its Taconite Harbor Energy Center beginning in the fall of 2016. Read more

Inside Minnesota's disputed community solar deal

Advocates for the community solar sector are breathing a sigh of relief over a decision from Minnesota’s regulators – but potentially market-disrupting questions remain.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission gave preliminary approval late last month to a settlement between Xcel Energy and a small and not necessarily representative group of solar developers. That deal aims to settle disputes about the size and placement of community solar arrays, limiting them to 5 MW of capacity immediately, and decreasing the cap to 1 MW of capacity in September of this year.

Solar advocates expect this settlement to kick-start development of community shared solar in the state with the nation’s biggest installed capacity potential. National attention has been focused on the settlement since leading sector analyst GTM Research called community solar the country’s “next largest solar growth market” and named Minnesota the “swing state” in it. Read more

In first, natural gas outpaces coal for US electricity generation

April was a significant month for the U.S. fuel mix. As SNL Energy points out, it marked the first month – ever – that the United States generated more power from natural gas than coal. Driven by low gas prices and a slew of carbon regulations taking coal plants offline, coal's year-over-year April production declined 18.9%, very similar to gas' 20.6% increase.

Nuclear generation saw a 6% boost, while solar thermal and photovoltaic rose more than 57%. Read more

Power company says drones could soon scan lines for trouble, help identify storm damage

LITHONIA, Ga. — When tornadoes and hurricanes topple power lines in the future, flying drones might be the first to pinpoint the damage.

Power companies across the United States are testing whether small drones can spot trouble on transmission lines or inspect equipment deep inside hard-to-reach power plant boilers. Read more

QUIZ: Test your Solar IQ

Think you know PV from CSP? Put your brainpower to the test with our solar energy quiz! Read more

MN Power turns Laskin Energy supply from coal to natural gas

The Laskin Energy Center in Hoyt Lakes is Minnesota Power's first electrical plant that runs exclusively on natural gas.

The Laskin Energy Center opened in 1953, and it has operated solely on coal since its inception. However, Minnesota Power decided to switch the facility to natural gas to keep up with new EPA regulations.

Officials from Minnesota Power say that this decision is a step ahead within their "Energy Forward" plan. The blueprint for "Energy Forward" involves turning its power supply to one-third coal, one-third natural gas, and one-third renewable energy. Read more

ALLETE Clean Energy acquires Pennsylvania wind facility

Duluth, Minn.-ALLETE Clean Energy (ACE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of ALLETE, Inc. (NYSE: ALE), has closed on the purchase of a 100.5-megawatt (MW) Pennsylvania wind farm from The AES Corporation (AES). Read more