Minnesota Power seeks $65.9 million in revenue to fund EnergyForward initiative


US utility Minnesota Power has filed a proposal with energy regulator the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to increase its operating revenue.

Increasing annual revenue by $65.9 million will help the utility to deliver safe and reliable energy from increasingly cleaner sources, according to a statement.

If approved, the revenue increase will help Minnesota Power to meet growing consumer energy demand, increasing operating expenses and recovery of costs associated with regulatory obligations since the company’s last rate case filed in 2016.

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The energy provider to 145,000 customers and 15 municipalities has plans to increase monthly rates for the average residential customer $11.66 per month.

The increase for the average small business customer would be $30.05 per month.

Increasing revenue will enable Minnesota Power to fund its EnergyForward grid modernisation programme.

Over the past years, the programme has helped the utility to expand its renewable energy portfolio by 30% as well as close seven of nine coal-powered plants. The utility has reduced operations and maintenance costs by nearly 20% since 2014.

The firm has set a goal to generate 50% of its energy from renewables by 2021 by adding 250MW of wind energy and more than 250MW of hydropower.

 “We are pleased with the continued success of our EnergyForward strategy that ensures reliable and safe energy for customers as we transform the way energy is produced and delivered,” ALLETE President Bethany Owen said. “Minnesota Power is on pace to reach 50% renewable energy by 2021, a remarkable accomplishment given that we currently offer the lowest average electric rates for residential customers in Minnesota.”