Moorhead Public Service's electricity service to go 'carbon free' in 2021


On October 20, 2020, the Moorhead Public Service Commission unanimously approved to make Moorhead Public Service (MPS) and, in effect, all of Moorhead’s electricity, 100 percent carbon-free, beginning in 2021, by using the Bright Energy Choices (BEC) Program from its supplementary energy provider, Missouri River Energy Services (MRES), which is based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Employing data from 2019, MRES’ most current reporting period, MPS’ total energy supply is already 87 percent carbon-free based upon energy generated from hydropower, wind, solar, and other carbon-free energy sources. Through the BEC Program, MPS can purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from MRES to offset the remaining 13 percent of energy coming from carbon-based power resources and make MPS, and all of Moorhead, 100 percent carbon-free. An REC reflects the positive environmental attributes of 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable and carbon-free energy (1 REC = 1 MWh).

The price of RECs has dropped significantly in the last year due to an abundance of solar and wind energy, especially wind energy, in other parts of the country. This reduction in price per REC makes it feasible for MPS to purchase enough RECs through MRES’ BEC Program to be 100 percent carbon-free without affecting electric rates.