Minnesota Power, a division of ALLETE (NYSE:ALE), today outlined next steps in its resource strategy to meet the energy needs of its customers with a balanced energy mix that preserves reliability, protects affordability and further improves environmental performance.
“Minnesota Power’s Energy Forward resource strategy is our road map to a cleaner energy future,” said ALLETE Chairman, President and CEO Al Hodnik. “Our plan keeps pace with a dynamic energy landscape in a sensible and sustainable manner. Energy Forward builds upon renewable energy investments already completed. It further diversifies our generation mix, balancing coal, renewables and natural gas and builds upon significant emission reductions at our existing power plants, all while preserving the reliable and affordable power Minnesota Power’s customers expect.”
Components of Minnesota Power’s Energy Forward resource strategy:
- Renewable energy investments
- Sustained energy conservation programs
- Construction of a major transmission line to facilitate delivery of carbon free hydropower
- Investments to reduce emissions at existing facilities and improve efficiencies
- Fleet transition of small coal units
- Addition of natural gas resources
“The resource decisions we are announcing today are the result of changing energy policy, technology developments, economic factors and input from many stakeholder groups, and our own commitment toward a competitive, environmentally compliant, socially responsible regional power supply,” Hodnik said.Significant renewable carbon free energy investments Now that it’s completed three phases of the Bison Wind Project in North Dakota, Minnesota Power is delivering more than 400 megawatts of clean, renewable wind energy to customers. With the recent extension of the federal production tax credit on wind generation equipment, the company is analyzing adding more wind to its energy mix. Minnesota Power will further leverage its renewable resources through a power purchase agreement with Manitoba Hydro for 250 megawatts of hydropower beginning in 2020. The company is proposing to deliver the carbon free energy on a new 500-kilovolt transmission line stretching from the Canadian border to northeastern Minnesota, expected to be completed by 2020.