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We rely on a mix of wind, water, coal and biomass to generate power for our customers. Minnesota Power continues to seek out more sources of renewable energy and has moved from an energy supply that was 5 percent renewable in 2005 to one that is 20 percent renewable today.

Click fuel type below to view our power generation systems

  • Hydro

  • Thermal

  • Wind

  • Biomass


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Blanchard Hydro Station

Location: The Mississippi River near Royalton, in Morrison County, Minn.
Description: Opened in 1925, the station has three generators and taps into a head of 45 feet.
Power production capability: 18 megawatts.

Fon du Lac Hydro Station
Fond du Lac Hydro Station

Location: On the St. Louis River.
Description: Built in 1923, the station has one generator that taps into a head of 80 feet.
Power production capability: 12 megawatts.

Knife Falls Hydro Station
Knife Falls Hydro Station

Location: The St. Louis River in Carlton County, Minn.
Description: The station was built in 1921. It has three generators and taps into a head of 18 feet.
Power production capability: 2.4 megawatts.

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Little Falls Hydro Station

Location: The Mississippi River in the town of Little Falls in Morrison County.
Description: Built in 1887, the station has six generators and taps into a head of 23 feet. The original dam built at this site was washed out in the 1850s. Minnesota Power acquired the Little Falls station in 1923.
Power production capability: 4.9 megawatts.

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Pillager Hydro Station

Location: The Crow Wing River in Morrison County, Minn.
Description: Built in 1917, the station has two generators and taps into a head of 20 feet.
Power production capability: 1.6 megawatts.

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Prairie River Hydro Station

Location: The Prairie River north of Grand Rapids, Minn.
Description: The hydro station was built in 1919 by Itasca Paper Co. and was purchased by Minnesota Power in 1982. It has two generators and taps into a head of 35 feet.

Only the shell of the hydro station remained after a devastating fire in 2008. The station rebuild includes a new powerhouse, refurbishment of the Unit 1 turbine and installation of new generators.
Power production capability: 1.1 megawatts.

Scanlon Hydro Station
Scanlon Hydro Station

Location: The St. Louis River in Carlton County, Minn.
Description: Built in 1922, the station has four generators and taps into a head of 15 feet.
Power production capability: 1.6 megawatts.

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Sylvan Hydro Station

Location: The Crow Wing River about 11 miles northwest of Brainerd, Minn.
Description: The station has three generators and taps into a head of 21 feet.
Power production capability: 1.8 megawatts.

Thomson Hydro Station
Thomson Hydro Station

Location: The St. Louis River in Jay Cooke State Park.
Description: Thomson is Minnesota Power’s largest hydroelectric plant and the largest hydro facility in Minnesota. The concrete dam is a fifth of a mile long, 38 feet high and 42 feet thick at the base. Its head (vertical distance the water travels to the turbines) is 370 feet. Thomson began generating power in 1907.
Power production capability: 70 megawatts.

Winton Hydro Station
Winton Hydro Station

Location: The Kawishiwi River near Ely, Minn.
Description: The concrete dam includes a 2,983-acre reservoir comprising Garden, Farm, South Farm and Fridays lakes, and the station has two generators. Height from the surface of the reservoir to the turbines, known as “head,” is 67 feet. The station has been operating since the 1920s.
Power production capability: 4 megawatts.

Boswell Energy Center
Boswell Energy Center

Location: Cohasset, Minn.
Description: Boswell is a four-unit coal-fired power plant. It’s Minnesota Power’s largest power plant. Units 1 and 2 started producing power in 1958 and 1960. They were joined in 1973 by Unit 3 and in 1980 by Unit 4.
The plant is named for Clay C. Boswell, an engineer whose career encompassed nearly the first 50 years of the company’s history. He also served as president and chairman of the board.
Fuel source: Low-sulfur, sub-bituminous coal from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming.
Power production capability: Units 1 and 2 – 65 megawatts each. Unit 3 – 355 megawatts. Unit 4 – 585 megawatts.
Interesting features: Unit 4’s 26-story boiler converts water to steam which is superheated to temperatures up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The Unit 4 stack is 600 feet high.
Itasca Greenhouse, located next to Boswell Energy Center, uses water from the plant's cooling towers to heat its greenhouses.

Hibbard Renewable Energy Center
Hibbard Renewable Energy Center

Location: On the waterfront in West Duluth
Description: Two units generate steam for the nearby NewPage paper mill and for the energy center. About 90 percent of all ash produced at Hibbard is used as a soil amendment on area farmlands, reducing the amount of ash being landfill.
Fuel source: Mixture of biomass and coal.
Power production capability: 48 megawatts.

Laskin Energy Center
Laskin Energy Center

Location: On Colby Lake between Aurora, Minn., and Hoyt Lakes, Minn.
Description: What today is the Laskin Energy Center was initially built to power the earliest taconite processing facilities pioneering the revitalization of the Iron Range. It was originally called the Aurora Steam Electric Station; Hoyt Lakes did not yet exist. It was later renamed for Sylvester “Syl” Laskin, who managed Minnesota Power's Range Division during the plant's early years and ultimately rose to become president, chairman and CEO.
Construction of the plant in 1953 marked a major shift for Minnesota Power. Up until that time, except for one coal-fired plant on Duluth's waterfront, the company had been mainly a hydroelectric operation.
Fuel source: Low-sulfur, sub-bituminous coal.
Power production capability: Units 1 and 2 – 55 megawatts each.
Interesting features: Laskin uses an innovative wastewater technology that removes extremely low levels of mercury from the facility’s ash pond water. Minnesota Power environmental specialists designed the water treatment system.
Next to the energy center is the 220-acre Laskin Energy Park, offering industrial building sites for new and expanding manufacturers.

Rapids Energy Center
Rapids Energy Center

Location: Grand Rapids, Minn.
Description: The energy center has two steam turbines and two hydro units and provides Blandin Paper Co. with steam, compressed air and electricity. Wood waste burned in the plant comes from the paper mill and other local forest product companies.
Fuel source: Mixture of biomass and coal.
Power production capability: 28.6 megawatts.

Taconite Harbor Energy Center
Taconite Harbor Energy Center

Location: Schroeder, Minn.
Description: Taconite Harbor consists of three 75-megawatt units. Together with Laskin Energy Center, Taconite Harbor is part of Minnesota Power’s Arrowhead Regional Emission Abatement Plan. AREA is a voluntary effort to significantly reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and mercury, and includes emissions control equipment developed by MobotecUSA.
Fuel source: Low-sulfur, sub-bituminous coal.
Power production capability: 225 megawatts.
Interesting features: Taconite Harbor is the only Minnesota Power thermal generating facility that receives its coal via ship; all other plants receive coal by rail.
The facility was built as part of Erie Mining Co. and later was purchased by LTV Steel. Minnesota Power acquired the facility in 2001.

Bison Wind Energy Center
Bison Wind Energy Center

Location: Oliver and Morton counties in south-central North Dakota.
Description: The wind farm is being built in three phases – Bison 1, 2 and 3. The energy from Bison is being delivered to Minnesota Power customers via a direct current transmission line stretching 465 miles from the Square Butte Substation in Center, N. D., to the company’s Arrowhead substation near Duluth.
Bison 1: Thirty-one wind turbines with a power production capability of 82 megawatts. Bison 1 was commissioned in early 2012.
Bison 2 and 3: Each project consists of 35 turbines, which together will supply 210 megawatts. Both Bison 2 and 3 were commissioned in December 2012.
Power production capability: The three phases of the Bison project are able to produce up to 292 megawatts.

Taconite Ridge Wind Energy Center
Taconite Ridge Wind Energy Center

Location: Located in central St. Louis County on property owned by United States Steel Corp. near its Minntac mine in Mountain Iron, Minn.
Description: Ten wind turbines, each capable of producing 2.5 megawatts of electricity. Each tower is 262 feet tall and each blade is 153 feet long. Taconite Ridge began operating in June 2008.
Power production capability: 25 megawatts.

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Cloquet Energy Center

Location: Cloquet, Minn.
Description: Ownership, operation and maintenance of the Unit 5 steam turbine-generator represents a unique business arrangement between Minnesota Power and Sappi Cloquet LLC. Minnesota Power owns the turbine and Sappi operates and maintains the unit at Minnesota Power’s expense.
Fuel source: Biomass and natural gas.
Power production capability: 23 megawatts.

Hibbard Renewable Energy Center
Hibbard Renewable Energy Center

Location: On the waterfront in West Duluth
Description: Two units generate steam for the nearby NewPage paper mill and for the energy center. About 90 percent of all ash produced at Hibbard is used as a soil amendment on area farmlands, reducing the amount of ash being landfilled.
Fuel source: Mixture of biomass and coal.
Power production capability: 48 megawatts.

Rapids Energy Center
Rapids Energy Center

Location: Grand Rapids, Minn.
Description: The energy center has two steam turbines and two hydro units and provides Blandin Paper Co. with steam, compressed air and electricity. Wood waste burned in the plant comes from the paper mill and other local forest product companies.
Fuel source: Biomass and coal.
Power production capability: 30 megawatts.


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