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Meetings Tuesday on Minnesota Power rate hike, gas power plant

Three nonprofit groups are offering two free sessions Tuesday in Duluth to help consumers understand Minnesota Power's new electric rates and the utility's proposal to build a new gas power plant in Superior.

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The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission voted 3-2 in favor of a proposal that would raise electric rates by 10 percent for most Minnesota Power residential customers. (file photo / News Tribune)
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Three nonprofit groups are offering two free sessions Tuesday in Duluth to help consumers understand Minnesota Power's new electric rates and the utility's proposal to build a new gas power plant in Superior.

The informational sessions are set for 1-2:30 p.m. and 7-8:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Duluth, also known as the "coppertop" church.

The events are organized by the Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota, Minnesota Citizens Federation Northeast and Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light. All three groups have opposed Minnesota Power rate increases.

Organizers say Minnesota Power customers can learn how their power bills will change under new electric rates recently approved by the Public Utilities Commission and learn more about the decision-making process for Minnesota Power's request to construct a new gas power plant in Superior. The groups also will offer tips on how to make comments on the Superior gas plant proposal.

As an investor-owned utility, Minnesota Power must seek approval from the PUC to charge customers for construction projects like a new power plant. Last year, Minnesota Power made a formal request for approval of the approximately $350 million gas power plant, and the review process is now underway.

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Public comments will be heard by an administrative law judge on Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. at Duluth's Inn on Lake Superior, and will be accepted in writing through March 23. Comments can be emailed to consumer.puc@state.mn.us or mailed to Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, 121 Seventh Place E., Suite 350, St. Paul, MN 55101. Comments should reference PUC Docket No. 17-568.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA POWERSUPERIOR
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