Power Companies Answer Questions About New Plant

Proposed Natural Gas Power Plant Should be Operational by 2025

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Representatives from two electricity suppliers met with residents Thursday to answer questions about the Nemadji Trail Energy Center natural gas power plant.

These informal open houses gave residents a chance to learn what the plan will mean for the city.

For Minnesota Power, using natural gas to create electricity is another step towards cleaner, renewable energy. In 2005, 95% of electricity generated by Minnesota Power came from fossil fuels, today that number is closer to 70%.

“Natural gas is the component that’s really needed for us to add even more renewables to our system,” said Minnesota Power spokesperson Amy Rutledge. “Natural gas supports renewables.”

Both Minnesota Ppower and its partner Dairyland Power Cooperative pledged $350 million to the project. Currently Dairyland serves only a small part of the Northland, but company officials are excited to supplement renewable projects in wind and solar.

“When the wind’s not blowing and the sun’s not shining we still have to meet our members needs,” said Rob Palmberg, Dairlyand’s Vice President of Strategic Planning. “We see that plant really filling that gap for us.”

The $700 million investment is the largest ever private investment in Superior. Residents believe the proposed plant is good for the city.

“Any time that a facility can provide cleaner energy and we as a community are getting a wonderful facility which will provide additional jobs, it’s a win–win situation,” said resident Ruth Ludwig.

If the project is approved by regulators, construction is expected to start in 2020 with the plant operating by 2025.

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