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Highlighting investments in state’s energy programs

Audio Articles on Hometown Focus is sponsored by Rock Ridge Public Schools.

Minnesota’s Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold was joined in Duluth recently by energy leaders from northeast Minnesota and across the state to showcase new investments in Minnesota energy programs and projects that are setting the path to transform Minnesota’s energy future.

“The future of Minnesota’s energy is happening now, from our programs to help Minnesotans reduce your energy costs this winter to projects that will provide Minnesotans over the long term with reliable, safe, affordable, and clean energy,” said Commissioner Arnold. “Every Minnesotan has a voice in this energy future and we value your input and partnership in energy decisions.”

Among the new investments $in4energy889 Employeeprograms and projects D to help$

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Minnes ta’s Energy Assistance P ogram has received $129 million inP federal$ funds from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which willunthelpFor Everyabout 125,000ne income ce eligible homeowners cand renters in Minnesota to pay fort current or past-due heating bills, avoidMSRPshutoffs orA getVALUE2reconnected$5 to0 power, 5 repair or replace broken heating systems, or provide emergency fuel deliveries.

Homeowners and renters can apply now, with one application, for both energy assistance and weatherization. For more info and to apply: mn.gov/home.

Minnesotans can work through your utility company for incentives to improve energy efficiencies for homes or businesses.

There are also plans to strengthen Minnesota’s electric grid with plans for new transmission lines.

$10 billion in new transmission lines are planned for the Midwest under a coordinated effort approved earlier this year by the Mid-Continent Independent System Operator (MISO). MISO’s transmission plan report outlines these projects to strengthen our region’s electric grid.

One transmission line proposed in Minnesota is the Northland Reliability Project by Minnesota Power and Great River Energy, which would run about 150 miles from the Iron Range to Benton and Sherburne counties.

And there are plans to bring the largest infusion of federal investments in history for clean energy to Minnesota. Two federal acts offer historic opportunities for Minnesota to invest and benefit from clean energy:

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) offers wide range of energy-related investments. More information is available at: Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law/ Minnesota.gov (mn.gov). The Inflation Reduction Act will also deliver affordable, clean energy for Minnesota. More info available at: Whitehouse.gov

Companies and agencies are moving to shift Minnesota to “homegrown energy” such as solar and wind.

“Ensuring the regional reliability and resiliency of our electric grid through initiatives such as the Northland Reliability Project is a critical part of Minnesota Power’s EnergyForward plan,” said Josh Skelton, Minnesota Power chief operating officer. “We are keenly aware that a more distributed and diverse energy mix must be coupled with a grid that is flexible and dynamic, capable of moving energy from where it’s generated to where it’s needed.”

Source: Minnesota Commerce Department.

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