Minnesota Power Customers To Receive $8M Refund
Minnesota Power reached an $8 million settlement with BNSF Railway on Wednesday over delayed deliveries of coal to its electricity production plants.
With a supply shortage of coal between October 2013 and November 2014, Duluth-based Minnesota Power at one point shut down four coal-fired generating units and was forced to buy electricity from other utilities for a significantly higher price. Those added costs were ultimately passed onto its 145,000 customers in Duluth.
“This settlement will provide Minnesota Power customers with important financial relief,” said Minnesota Department of Commerce commissioner Mike Rothman, whose organization aided the Duluth provider in the settlement process. “It is essential that BNSF’s settlement with the utility gets credited to the consumers who literally ended up footing the bill for these problems.”
Residential customers and affected businesses alike will receive a one-time credit to their bill based on the amount of electricity used during coal shortage periods.
The settlement and refund plan has been submitted to the Public Utilities Commission for approval. If granted, Duluth residents would receive their refund as early as April.