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Minnesota Power seeks proposals for up to 300 megawatts of solar energy

Minnesota Power, a utility division of Allete, Inc., took an important step in advancing its EnergyForward vision for 100% carbon-free energy with the issuance of a Request for Proposals for up to 300 megawatts of regional solar energy to come online by 2027.

The RFP follows Minnesota Power’s 2021 Integrated Resource Plan approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, which calls for the company to acquire up to 300 megawatts of regional solar generation capacity. The procurement of solar through this RFP will increase Minnesota Power’s solar portfolio by tenfold and provide customers with renewable energy that will help the company and state meet carbon-free goals in the coming decades.

As part of its EnergyForward strategy for a carbon-free energy future, Minnesota Power 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.

The RFP strives to maximize the regional economic benefits of solar development, including preferences for diverse bidders and requirements for using union labor, local labor for construction and permanent staffing, and the development of apprenticeship programs.

“As we demonstrated with our three recent regional solar projects, this RFP reflects our commitment to creating opportunities for our communities during the clean-energy transformation,” said Minnesota Power Chief Operating Officer Josh Skelton. “We’re seeking projects that will create local construction jobs and tax base in communities, train people for the future and generate renewable energy for our customers. Getting this energy transformation right means building a truly sustainable future where everyone can thrive.”

Minnesota Power 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. Click here to learn more or to file a proposal.

In the coming weeks, Minnesota Power will be releasing a notice for another RFP for up to 400 megawatts of wind as identified in the 2021 Integrated Resource Plan approval.

Minnesota Power provides electric service within a 26,000-square-mile area in northeastern Minnesota, supporting comfort, security and quality of life for 150,000 customers, 14 municipalities and some of the largest industrial customers in the United States.