Tours

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Minnesota Power facility tours are a great way for your school or organization to learn about how energy is produced and resource management. Students and adults of all ages are fascinated by the goings-on at our varied thermal generating plants, renewable hydroelectric stations and Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center.

Thermal Energy Centers

Boswell Energy Center

Boswell Energy Center

Boswell Energy Center's four units can produce more than one million kilowatts of power—enough to light 28 cities the size of Duluth.

  • Located 10 miles west of Grand Rapids
  • Maximum tour group size is 30
  • Minimum age of 12

Renewable Energy Centers

Important Notice: Persons who have cardiac pacemakers are prohibited from participating in our hydroelectric plant tours.

M.L. Hibbard Renewable Energy Center

M.L. Hibbard Renewable Energy Center

The M.L. Hibbard Renewable Energy Center utilizes waste wood which provides a renewable, recyclable, low sulfur fuel source. Approximately 90 percent of all ash produced at Hibbard is used as a soil nutrient on area farmlands, reducing the amount of ash being landfilled.

  • Located in West Duluth
  • Maximum tour group size is 12
  • Persons touring this facility must be high school age or older

Thomson Hydro Station

The Thomson Hydro Station, built in 1907, is located on the St. Louis River in Jay Cooke State Park in Carlton County, Minn. It has six generators capable of producing 72 megawatts of renewable hydroelectricity. The facility underwent a massive refurbishment and upgrade following the 2012 floods and is ready to provide clean electricity for another century. Tours can be scheduled by emailing Kris Hiller at the MN DNR: kris.hiller@state.mn.us.

Rapids Energy Center

The Rapids Energy Center provides Blandin Paper Company with steam, compressed air and electrical energy. Wood waste material (biomass) from the paper mill and local forest product companies is burned in conjunction with coal in two high pressure boilers to produce steam. On an annual basis approximately 80 percent of the fuel utilized is biomass. The facility has two steam turbines and two hydro units for a combined generation capacity of 28.6 MWs. The ash generated at Rapids Energy Center is distributed as a soil nutrient on area farmlands and for use as agricultural feed pads.

  • Located on NW 3rd Street in Grand Rapids
  • Maximum tour group size is 12
  • Persons touring this facility must be high school age or older

Renewable Energy Centers

Boulder Lake Management Area (BLMA)

The Boulder Lake Management Area (BLMA) focuses on full-scale natural resource management, ecological research, public recreation and education. It's located 18 miles north of Duluth, Minn. Visit the BLMA Web site.