Utilities

Minnesota’s energy services are extremely reliable and priced lower than the national average, which is a powerful competitive advantage over most other states.

Electricity and Gas

A healthy balance of coal, nuclear power, and renewable resources like wind, hydropower, wood, and waste allows Minnesota to offer an abundant electricity at prices comfortably below the national average.

Minnesota average annual electric rate for industrial customers in 2011 was 6.51¢ per kilowatt/hour, lower than the national rate of 6.89¢ per kilowatt/hour.

The typical electric bill for medium-sized industrial users in Minnesota ($29,678) was lower than the bill for the U.S. ($37,331) in 2011, according to the Edison Electric Institute.

The electric bill for a midsize industrial user in Minneapolis-St. Paul was $31,240 compared to other cities in the Midwest such as Cleveland, Ohio ($31,812).

Natural gas is piped from suppliers throughout North America at very competitive prices. Data from the Energy Information Administration reveals that the average retail price for Minnesota's industrial customers in 2011 was $5.62 per thousand cubic feet, the 10th lowest among states for which data was available.

Renewable Energy and Conservation

Minnesota is a pioneer in the use of wind energy, a renewable energy source.

Minnesota ranked fifth nationwide in 2011 with 2,733 megawatts of installed wind capacity, enough to power 770,000 homes per year. Wind turbines to generate an additional 36 MW of wind energy were under construction.

Minnesota ranked third nationwide in 2010 for the percentage of electricity produced by wind energy (9.7 percent).

Wind energy in Minnesota supported between 2,000-3,000 jobs in 2010 and generated over $7.6 million in property tax payments.

Minnesota’s government has the most aggressive renewable goal on the country: 25 percent of the state’s electricity must come from renewable sources by 2025.

Minnesota has long been at the forefront in the development and production of alternative fuels like ethanol and biodiesel.

  • With a production capacity of 1.1 billion gallons in 2011, Minnesota was one of the nation’s premier producers of ethanol, ranking fourth.
  • Minnesota is the only state that requires the statewide use of 10 percent ethanol in gasoline. And that will increase to 20 percent by 2013.
  • There are more than 366 service stations supplying E85 fuel, ranking first nationwide.
  • A two percent biodiesel blend has been required in diesel fuel since 2005.

Energy Conservation
A leader in energy conservation programs, Minnesota is saving natural resources, reducing environmental impact, and saving money for businesses all at the same time.

  • Minnesota's largest utility, Xcel Energy, was honored in 2011 by the American Council for Energy Efficiency Economy with the prestigious “Champion of Energy Efficiency in Industry” award. Xcel was noted for its "creativity and persistence in delivering exemplary energy efficiency programs to industrial customers."
  • Minnesota ranked eighth nationwide in energy efficiency, according to the 2011 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard.
  • With 162 buildings that earned the Energy Star label in 2011, Minnesota ranked 16th nationwide and fourth in the Midwest.

Telecommunications

Wired or wireless, Minnesota’s telecommunications infrastructure and professional services are top shelf, delivering reliable and high quality voice, video, Internet and data communications in urban centers and rural reaches alike.

Minnesota ranked eighth nationwide in the percentage of people using the Internet in urban areas (78.4 percent), according to 2010 data by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Internet use in rural areas was 74.8 percent, ranking 16th.

Minneapolis was one of 12 Fast Cities in 2010 by Fast Company magazine, particularly noted for its extensive broadband covering 95 percent of its 59 square miles.

Eden Prairie was ranked first among small cities in communication technology to enhance public service by the 2011 Digital Cities Survey.