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Regulator approves $36.1M interim rate increase for Minnesota Power

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Dec. 5 accepted Minnesota Power Inc.'s 2020 retail rate request filing and approved an interim rate increase of $36.1 million, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Minnesota Power, an ALLETE Inc. subsidiary, filed a rate increase request of $65.9 million in November, which included an interim rate increase of about $48 million.

The MPUC decided that $11.8 million of revenue from an expiring power market sales contract should be excluded from interim rates. The utility said it disagrees with the commission's determination of interim rates, and is working with regulators to help "ensure a positive outcome."

Minnesota Power is also waiting to receive a formal written order and considering potential responses.

ALLETE said it still aims to achieve a long-term objective of 5% to 7% growth in average annual earnings per share on a consolidated basis.

ALLETE's 2020 guidance, which it plans to provide in mid-February, is expected to reflect the implications of the interim rate decision for Minnesota Power, as well as its other business units.