In a money-saving move, the New Ulm Public Utilities Commission has voted to indefinitely suspend a controversial project to convert a boiler at the city's steam plant from natural gas to coal.
The decision came after commission members reviewed a revised economic outlook. The current price of coal makes natural gas costs more competitive than when the project was first proposed.
Jessica Tatro, with the Sierra Club, said her group and the community group New Ulm Citizens for Clean Energy strongly support the PUC's decision to suspend the conversion to coal.
"We are very pleased with the decision," Tatro said. "We feel like this is a major victory for the people of New Ulm and Minnesota and part of a national movement of communities moving away from coal."
The New Ulm PUC will have the option to reconsider the project in the future.