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The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission authorized a $40.9 million investment requested by Minnesota Power. This is to develop three solar array facilities in Northern Minnesota. Moreover, it will extendin its support for initiatives supporting Minnesota’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 epidemic. The Laskin, Sylvan, and Duluth city solar arrays will generate 21 megawatts (MW) of power utilizing Minnesota-made panels. This will provide system-wide advantages while supporting the local economy.

St. Louis County’s planned solar project will be constructed at the Laskin Energy Center. It is a former coal-generation plant, to continue creating jobs and economic opportunities in this host community.

Solar arrays manufactured by Heliene Inc. in Mountain Iron, Minnesota, will be utilized in the projects. This will make use of existing electrical infrastructure. Construction will begin this summer, with the arrays expected to generate electricity by 2022.

The rationale behind the 21-Megawatt Solar Array

Authorities recommended last year that utilities consider accelerating planned investments to boost the state’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 epidemic. However, Minnesota Power offered to add capacity expansions to aid the state in recovery from the economic ramifications of the Covid-19 epidemic.

What is The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission?

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission controls three vital service industries in the state’s economy: electricity, natural gas, and telephone service. However, the Commission’s objective is to establish and maintain a regulatory environment that assures safe, sufficient, and efficient utility services at reasonable prices. This is in accordance with state telecommunications and energy policy. Moreover, it accomplishes this by providing utility service providers with impartial, consistent, competent, and all-encompassing oversight and regulation.

Commissioner Joseph Sullivan’s statement

“At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the Commission asked the regulated utilities to consider accelerating planned investments to support Minnesota’s ongoing economic recovery. However, speeding up the construction of these three solar facilities, which will procure local labor, including a regional solar panel manufacturer, will continue advancing growth in northern Minnesota,”

Commissioner Valerie Means’s statement

“The construction of these three solar facilities support the ongoing economic recovery of northern Minnesota. This project will boost local investment while balancing public and private interests in the procurement of local talent and manufacturing. However, this is to continue delivering reliable energy for Minnesotans living in the region,”

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