Minnesota Power plans to go 100% carbon-free by 2050

Minnesota’s second-largest utility announced that it plans to provide customers 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

Duluth-based Minnesota Power said Tuesday that it will show its plan for the next 15 years to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The company serves about 145,000 homes and businesses in northeastern Minnesota according to a release from the company.

"We are proud to be the first Minnesota utility to provide 50 percent renewable energy, but as we said when we reached this exciting milestone in December, our transformation to a sustainable energy future is not yet complete," said ALLETE President and CEO Bethany Owen. "As a clean energy leader, we are meeting the challenge of climate change with a reliable energy supply while keeping costs affordable for customers in this region."

Since 2013, the utility shuttered seven of its nine coal-operated generating units.

The company also invested in wind farms and hydroelectric facilities in Canada.

"For Minnesota Power, this plan is about more than achieving the most significant sustainability goal in our long history – it is about becoming 100 percent carbon-free the right way," Owen said. "Our diverse customer base relies on us to continue to provide reliable and affordable energy. We also believe it is critically important that our transition to carbon-free energy takes into account the needs of our employees and the residents of communities that have hosted our generation plants. By embracing this vision, Minnesota Power and our employees will continue to support the quality of life that has made our residents, businesses and community organizations choose this region as their home."