Power Plant Transition in Host Communities

Audrey Partridge, Brady Steigauf

Why This Research Is Needed

Minnesota’s energy economy is evolving, new renewable technologies are emerging, and much of our current electric infrastructure is reaching retirement age. As a result, the sources of our energy will change — retiring power plants will not necessarily be replaced with new ones — and that will affect the economies of the communities who host retiring plants. Communities that are home to large power plants receive a large portion of their tax base, economic vitality, and local jobs from the plants. As Minnesota moves away from central, fossil fuel plants, these host communities face an unprecedented transition.

This study seeks to illustrate the impact of this shift on six Minnesota communities that host power plants. Collectively, these six communities host approximately 3,800 MW of coal and 1,700 MW of nuclear generation. The five power plants in these communities generate approximately 70 percent of Minnesota's current electricity supply. 

Project Process and Expected Outcomes

CEE is partnering with the Coalition of Utility Cities, Xcel Energy, Minnesota Power, and community representatives to study the economic and social impact that these power plants have on the communities that host them, as well as the potential effects of the plants’ retirements. 

This study will include information gathered through interviews and a questionnaire to assess the role these power plants play in people's lives. This study could be used as a part of a larger strategy to enable these communities to successfully navigate the transition away from fossil fuels and the eventual retirement of these power plants. 

This project is funded in part by the Rockefeller Family Fund, Inc., Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Initiative Foundation,Coalition of Utility Cities, and Xcel Energy.

Project Info

Quantify and analyze the economic and social impact that power plants have on Minnesotan communities that host them.

Non-Energy Benefits
Kickstart a broader strategy to help communities navigate their transition from fossil fuels and the eventual retirement of the power plants they host.

​Project Contacts
Audrey Partridge
Brady Steigauf