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Posted on: April 1, 2021

MMPA Member Communities to See No Rate Impact from February Cold Weather Event

East Grand Forks Water and Light is a member of Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA) along with with 11 other municipal utilities across the state. MMPA has released the following statement regarding recent market activity

March 31, 2021
MMPA Member Communities to See No Rate Impact from February Cold Weather Event
The cold weather events of mid-February caused disruptions in electric and natural gas markets throughout many parts of the central United States. Prices for both electricity and natural gas set new all-time highs in many markets. Many electric customers lost power for an extended period of time.
We are pleased to announce that MMPA’s member communities will not see any rate impact from MMPA because of the mid-February events. For more than a decade, MMPA has maintained a rate stabilization fund to cover unexpected, short-term price spikes such as this. The MMPA Board of Directors elected to use some of its rate stabilization fund to offset the higher than budgeted costs
rather than passing a rate increase through to members.
No MMPA member community had an interruption in power during this event. We have been asked to comment as to why Minnesota did not experience power outages like those seen in Texas. Below are several differences between the electric power markets in Minnesota and Texas.
* Minnesota’s electric generators, both renewable and non-renewable, are winterized to withstand colder temperatures than those in most other parts of the country.
* Minnesota has natural gas supply from both the North (Canada) and the South (Louisiana/Oklahoma/Texas). These multiple supply routes provide some backup in case one is unavailable.
In addition to these Minnesota market characteristics, MMPA has backup fuels on-site at two of our large generating resources – fuel oil at Faribault Energy Park and liquified natural gas (LNG) at
Shakopee Energy Park. These backup fuels allow our generators to run for some period of time even if gas is not available.
MMPA continues to work diligently with our member communities and other utility partners to help ensure reliable electric service to all of the 160,000-plus Minnesotans we serve.

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