The public weighs in on proposed natural gas plant in Superior - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

The public weighs in on proposed natural gas plant in Superior

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The future of a proposed 700 million dollar natural gas plant in Superior is now in the public's hands.

Minnesota Power and Dairyland Power Cooperative have proposed constructing the plant which would be built in Superior sometime after 2020. 

Wednesday's  hearing took place at Duluth's Inn on Lake Superior.

The purpose of this hearing was to give an administrative law judge a better idea of what hopes, and fears, people have over this multi-million dollar proposal. 

Officials say the 525-megawatt facility would create nearly 400 construction, and indirect jobs and employ as many as 25 people when finished. 
Minnesota Power would purchase half of the plant to the tune of $350 million dollars. 

A citizens poll released last Wednesday claims 77% of Minnesota Power customers are overwhelmingly against the power plant.

The poll also claims of the 552 people surveyed  92% want a full analysis of all energy options available before construction starts.

Minnesota Power spokespeople say the plant would actually save customers money on their power bills and help promote cleaner energy. 

"So anytime we bring forward a new idea about how to produce energy people have questions they have curiosity and they need to vet those questions and curiosities some people feel that natural gas is part if a clean energy future that's needed because when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow we need something to keep our lights on," said  MN Power VP of Strategy and Planning, Julie Pierce.

Meanwhile, some community members are against the proposed plant. 

"Minnesota Power wants to build a fract gas plant in Wisconsin. Is that lost on anybody? Because that's what also annoys me."

Written comments will be accepted until March 23rd. You can also submit comments by email.

Community members can submit comments by email to or mail them to Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, 121 Seventh Place E., Suite 350, St. Paul MN 55101. Comments should reference PUC Docket No. 17-568.

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