Minnesota Power Reaches Milestone in Renewable Energy
Efforts with Purchase of Interstate Transmission Line
04, 2010 - BUSINESS WIRE
Minnesota Power, an ALLETE company
(NYSE: ALE), has finalized the purchase of a 465-mile transmission line, signaling
a new era of renewable energy transport and development for the Company.
approximately $70 million, Minnesota Power has acquired a 250-kilovolt line connecting
Center, N.D. with its Arrowhead Substation in Hermantown, Minn. Purchase of the
direct current (DC) transmission line from the Square Butte Electric Cooperative
will further Minnesota Power's long range plan to bring more renewable energy
into its system. The company plans to develop several hundred megawatts of new
wind generation in North Dakota and deliver wind-fueled electricity to customers
via the DC line.
Minnesota Power is already laying the groundwork
for construction of its Bison wind farm, a 75-megawatt installation near New Salem,
N.D. The project, consisting of 33 turbines with a 2.3 MW capacity each, will
be installed in two phases. Phase one, which will involve the construction of
the first 16 turbines, is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2010.
DC line is the centerpiece of our wind development efforts in North Dakota and
reflects our commitment to providing long term value for our customers and shareholders,"
said ALLETE CEO Don Shippar. "Finalizing this purchase will allow us to deliver
more clean energy to our customers and the Upper Midwest in a cost effective manner
while supporting our efforts to meet Minnesota's aggressive mandate of producing
25 percent of our energy from renewable sources by 2025."
November, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued written orders authorizing
Minnesota Power's acquisition of the transmission facilities. On December 21,
the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission issued its written order approving Minnesota
Power's purchase of the DC line.
The rich wind resources of
central North Dakota are considered among the nation's premier sites for wind
energy development, but there's a shortage of transmission assets available to
move the renewable energy to population centers.
of renewable energy has been a big challenge for our industry," said Eric Norberg,
Minnesota Power's Senior Vice President of Strategy and Planning. "With the closing
of this strategic agreement, we're proud to be at the forefront of long distance
wind energy transport."
Direct current is a more economical
way to transmit power over long distances than the standard AC, or alternating
current. When Square Butte built the DC line in the 1970s, it was designed to
move electricity from the coal-fired Young Station to supply Minnesota Power's
growing taconite customers in northeast Minnesota's Iron Range.
described as a way to transport "coal by wire," Minnesota Power intends to use
its DC line as an innovative method of moving "wind by wire." Electricity generated
at the Young Station is now shared by Minnesota Power and Minnkota Power Cooperative,
an affiliate of Square Butte. Over the next several years, Minnesota Power will
phase out its generation rights at the Young Station, allowing Minnkota to eventually
take all of the coal-based electricity it once shared.
Power provides retail electric service within a 26,000-square-mile area in northeastern
Minnesota to 144,000 customers and wholesale electric service to 16 municipalities.
More information can be found at: www.mnpower.com.
contained in this release and statements that ALLETE may make orally in connection
with this release that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements.
Actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking
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investors are directed to the risks discussed in documents filed by ALLETE with
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