Minnesota Power seeks rate increase

Illustration by Evan Hughes

Illustration by Evan Hughes

Correction: Minnesota Power has not officially filed for a rate increase, but they anticipate they will later. Minnesota Power also did not lose any revenue in their fourth quarter report. They do however, expect financial challenges in the future. (Correction has been made).

The Duluth-based, utilities company Minnesota Power anticipates to ask state regulators to increase electricity rates for later this year.

Back in 2016, Minnesota Power applied for a rate increase with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and was approved in early 2018, but for less than what Minnesota Power applied for.

The raise was approximately a two percent increase for each month.

Industrial businesses made up half of Minnesota Power’s revenue in 2018. Per the Duluth News Tribune, Pat Mullen, senior vice president of external affairs at Allete, said that since Bladin Papers closed one of their machine lines, it hurt that market.

“Due to loss of power sales contracts,” Allete spokesperson Amy Rutledge said, “as well as to recover investments made in our system to provide cleaner and more reliable energy.”

Minnesota Power has been at the forefront of renewable energy in the state. In 2005, the company was running on about 95 percent coal, but today they are operating at 30 percent renewable energy and are hoping to grow to 44 percent by 2025.

Depending on when Minnesota Power will file for the increase, will determine what the price change will show up on customers bill. There is no figure until they officially file and are approved.

NewsVincent Harvieux