A Just Transition; Community Investment
for the Future Sustainable Energy Shift

Itasca Community Task Force

Itasca County communities have benefitted from the Boswell Energy Center (Boswell) since the 1950s. The jobs, tax revenues, leadership, and community engagement generated by the MN Power facility are critical parts of our community's past, present, and future.

As the State of Minnesota continues to pursue climate solutions, like reducing emissions by 50% by 2030, 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, we're seeing direct local impacts. MN Power's Integrated Resource Plan targets ceasing coal operations at Boswell's Unit 3 by 2030 and Unit 4 by 2035, and it is also modeling options for new power generation that continue to utilize Boswell's many assets, infrastructure, and people.

IEDC, Itasca County, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, the City of Cohasset, Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation, and MN Power are working together as a Community Task Force. We're collaborating across our community to explore federal and state funding opportunities to help launch and support new projects, diversify our regional and local economies, and sustain our community during this energy transition.

A just energy transition can be both a challenge and an opportunity, but with a proactive, collaborative approach, we can work toward solutions that benefit us all. Your input in the process is invaluable. Please join us at an upcoming Community Town Hall meeting to learn more.

Picture of boswell energy plant

What Does Energy Transition Mean to You?

The Just Transition Itasca Community Task Force will be hosting Community Town Halls to provide information about our work and gain valuable insights and ideas from members of six different communities in Itasca County about energy transition and what is being done to get prepared! We will host these sessions over two series of three town halls.

May Series

  • Bigfork City Hall - May 14, 2024 | 12:00 - 2:00 PM
  • Cohasset Community Center - May 14, 2024 | 4:30 - 6:30 PM
  • S. Lake LIC Community Center - May 15, 2024 | 5:30 - 7:30 PM

June Series

  • Nashwauk City Hall - June 5, 2024 | 12:00 - 2:00 PM
  • Deer River King School Senior Center - June 5, 2024 | 5:30 - 7:30 PM
  • Itasca County Family YMCA - June 7, 2024 | 5:30 - 7:30 PM

These events are free of charge to attend. Lunch and dinner, depending on time, will be provided. Childcare will be provided during dinner evenings.

Questions? Call (218) 326-9411 or email Spencer Bloch at sbloch@itascadv.org.

Find A Town Hall Near You!

Just Transition Fund logo

Just Transition Grant Fund

$150,000 was awarded to convene a year-long just transition process for Itasca County, and for the greater northern Minnesota region. The Just Transition Grant Fund supports work to develop an action plan to ensure a thriving economy, supported by an informed community, as we work through our energy transition. The action plan will include a community-driven just transition vision and series of recommended pathways or actions that will allow the region to collaboratively identify and pursue federal funding and other resources in alignment with its vision.

Just Transition: Facilitation, Steering Committee, and Task Force


  • Itasca Economic Development Corp., applicant and administrator
  • Northspan, facilitation and organization
  • Great Plains Institute (GPI), facilitator and industry expert
  • Century on Energy and Environment (CEE), facilitator and industry expert

graphic representation of different entitites involved

Steering Committee

  • Itasca County
  • City of Cohasset
  • MN Power, ALLETE
  • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
  • Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation
  • IEDC

Task Force

  • Steering Committee
  • 20-25 Individuals, including representatives from:
    • IEDC
    • US Forest Service
    • TLeech Lake Band of Ojibwe
    • UPM
    • The Blandin Foundation
    • The City of Grand Rapids
    • The City of Cohasset
  • A diverse cross section of participants
graphic representation of how different entitites are involved

2024 Timeline

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Reports & Research

DEED logo

Minnesota’s Energy Transition

The Energy Transition Office was established by the 2021 legislature to advise Governor Walz, Lt. Governor Flanagan, DEED’s Commissioner, and the legislature on energy transition issues and to establish transition programs, economic initiatives, and transition policy. For communities and workers impacted by fossil fuel-based power plant closures in Minnesota, the office aims to help them successfully transition to alternatives that minimize the negative consequences of closures while maximizing opportunities for future economic growth and community well-being.

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