The Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (SMMPA), which provides electricity to Redwood Falls, among other cities, on Wednesday announced its plan to retire the Sherco 3 coal-fired power plant and replace it primarily with wind and solar generation. The plan would result in a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions from 2005 levels, and 80% carbon-free energy on an annual basis in 2030.

SMMPA provides electricity and related services to 18 municipally operated utilities, mostly in south-central and southeastern Minnesota, including Litchfield, New Prague, Owatonna, Waseca, and St. Peter.

Natural gas and other non-coal fossil-fueled generation will continue to play an important role for SMMPA’s members. The Agency expects these facilities to provide a relatively small percentage of its energy needs on an annual basis, but to continue to increase intermittent renewable resources, like wind and solar.