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State commission approves interim rates for Minnesota Power

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission today approved interim rates for Minnesota Power’s customers, the first step of a longer process to evaluate the company’s recently filed electric rate proposal.

The MPUC has approved an overall interim rate increase of about 8.6%, or $63.8 million in annual Minnesota Power revenue, when combined with decreases in the Minnesota Policy Adjustment line item expected in 2024.

Under these changes, monthly bills for the average residential customer will increase by about $8. Interim rates will begin in January 2024 and remain in effect until final rates are decided by the MPUC, likely by early 2025.

Minnesota Power, a utility division of ALLETE (NYSE: ALE), filed its 2024 rate proposal on Nov. 1 with state regulators seeking to increase its annual operating revenue by $89 million. Minnesota Power’s monthly residential energy bills would remain among the lowest in the region and below the national average even if the MPUC approves the full rate proposal.

The approximately 12% final rate increase proposed by the company supports the investments that the company is making under its EnergyForward strategy to continue to advance a clean-energy transition for the region and the state. In 2020, Minnesota Power became the first utility in the state to deliver 50% renewable energy and hit an all-time high of nearly 60% renewable in 2022.

The EnergyForward strategy established a goal of being more than 70% renewable by 2030, all while safeguarding reliable service to Minnesota Power’s 150,000 customers. The rate proposal will ensure the company is able to preserve reliable service to homes and businesses, increase renewable resources, hire and retain the workforce necessary to provide vital service and execute innovative projects that reduce carbon emissions, and provide programs and services that help customers control their energy use and monthly bills.

“We appreciate the MPUC’s approval of interim rates and their recognition that we have a lot of hard work and investment in front of us, and that our employees are critical to accomplishing our state’s carbon-free goals,” said Vice President of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs Jennifer Cady. “During the open rate review process over the coming months, we will be listening to input from our customers and stakeholders as we prepare for the next phase of our EnergyForward transition to a carbon-free energy supply. This rate request is essential for Minnesota Power’s ability to make the best investments, including in our workforce, to achieve these carbon-free goals while maintaining safe, reliable and affordable energy for our customers.”

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Hermantown boys basketball coach Andy Fenske on his team's recent Lake Superior Conference home game against Duluth Denfeld, when the Hunters pulled off an 83-77 upset over the two-time defending Section 7AAA champion Hawks – "The game on Tuesday night was a typical battle between the Hawks and Hunters. Things are never decided until the final few moments of the game. In terms of the games we have over the next week, we have Cloquet tonight (Thursday) who's coming off of a tough loss to North Branch on Tuesday. Then we finally hit the road to head down to the Southside Showcase and take on 2AAA opponent Mankato West. We'll wrap up our stretch of games at Princeton who's always a tough place to play. When you head to a basketball school and play in an environment like that, it's always a challenge to come away with a win. We're excited when we finally get a full and healthy lineup back in action."