Feb 26, 2020

Minnesota's Power Plant Communities: An uncertain future

Study exploring the social and economic implications of Minnesota's energy transition for communities that host power plants. 

Learn more by watching CEE's webinar Power Plant Retirements: Community Perspectives and Realities.



Many of Minnesota’s large electric power plants will be eligible for retirement over the next 10 to 20 years. Given the changing economics of different sources of electricity as well as Minnesota’s policy goals around reducing greenhouse gas emissions, power plant retirement dates are in flux. Xcel Energy proposed early retirement dates for some of its plants in its latest integrated resource plan, while also proposing to extend the life of one of its nuclear power plants. Other Minnesota electric utilities will file integrated resource plans, proposing power plant retirement dates in the coming years. 

Large power plants not only provide electricity for the state, but are also the economic engines of the communities in which they are located. They are often the largest employer and largest single source of tax revenue for the communities that host them. Moreover, power plants and power plant workers play a significant role in shaping host communities. As large central power plants retire, the host cities and communities will transform as well. 

To explore the challenges and opportunities associated with power plant retirements, the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) led an assessment of the social and economic impacts of five power plants across six communities that host them. 

For additional information on the project, visit the project page. 

This study was funded by the Just Transition Fund; the Coalition of Utility Cities; the Initiative Foundation, a regional foundation; the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation; the West Central Initiative FundXcel Energy; and Center for Energy and Environment.