Minnesota Power Announces Plans for Natural Gas Plant in Superior

The $700 million plant would be built along the Nemadji River in Superior's industrial corridor

SUPERIOR, Wisc. – Minnesota Power announced some big plans that would bring a $700 million natural gas power plant to Superior.

If approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the proposed Nemadji Trail Energy Center would start construction as early as 2020 and come online in 2025.

The project would bring hundreds of construction and industry jobs, 26 full0time plant jobs, as well as one million dollars of annual revenue for the city of Superior and Douglas County.

The plant would be built along the Nemadji River in Superior’s industrial corridor.

It’s all part of Minnesota Power’s EnergyForward resource package, which focuses on utilizing more solar, wind, and in this case natural gas, to provide cleaner, more affordable energy to homes in the area.

“What the natural gas does is it helps balance renewable energy,” said Amy Rutledge, manager of communications for Minnesota Power. “The wind isn’t always blowing, the sun isn’t always shining, so we really need to make sure we have an on–demand energy source that can respond immediately exactly when Minnesota customers need power.”

Minnesota Power is partnering with Wisconsin–based Dairyland Power to split the cost and use of the state of the art plant.

Superior mayor Jim Paine says this project will provide economic benefits for the entire region and calls it one of the best opportunities the city has ever seen.

“The economy does not draw lines at the state border, neither do energy companies,” said Paine. “We frequently buy energy from each other. This is a much larger community than just Superior or Duluth & Wisconsin or Minnesota. This is the Northland working together for a brand new project.”

In 2005, Minnesota Power relied on coal for 95 percent of its energy, Rutledge says. Once the natural gas plant is operating, the company will be using more than 40 percent of renewable energy.

 

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