Utilities Release More Info on Proposed Superior Natural Gas Plant

Taylor Holt
September 07, 2017 10:15 PM

A new natural gas power plant is a step closer to coming to Superior. 

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Thursday, Minnesota Power and Dairyland Power Cooperative held several open houses for the community to learn about the proposed 700 million dollar project.

"I think it's a good thing in a way so far," said Superior resident John Ludwig. He was one of dozens of community members at Thursday's open house. "It's always good to get an idea of what the positives and the negatives are going to be." 

Minnesota Power and Dairyland Power Cooperative hosted the open house. They are partnering on the project. 

"This is the first step in the public engagement process. We've worked on the project for 4 or 5 years," said Rob Palmberg, Vice President of Strategic Planning for Dairyland Cooperative.

Amy Rutledge with Minnesota Power says the plant dubbed the Nemadji Trail Energy Center is part of an effort to diversify their energy mix.

"We have been moving towards a cleaner more flexible energy mix but one that's also able to provide safe and reliable and cost competitive energy," said Rutledge.

The plan is for the facility to be located on 31st Avenue in Superior, across the street from Enbride but the project is still in the early stages so construction won't start for a couple of years.

"We think it's a fabulous location with good natural gas supply," said Palmberg.

For officials, another positive is the various economic benefits. 

"There's a number of economic benefits from 25 full-time jobs at the plant to at the peak of construction about 250 construction jobs," said Rutledge. 

The project will go through a permitting process next Spring, but Rutledge says this is the first step in moving forward.

"It's really important to engage our community in the process upfront right away," Rutledge said. The hope is for the plant to be completed by 2025.

The project was announced in June and officials say it's one of the single largest private investments to be made in Superior's history.


Taylor Holt

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