September 1, 2011
Minnesota, North Dakota

Minnesota Power wind project approved

David Phelps, Star Tribune, 31 August 2011

Minnesota Power has received approval from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to develop its $157 million Bison 2 wind farm in New Salem, N.D., adjacent to the company’s Bison 1 project.

Bison 2 will generate 105 megawatts of power when it comes on line next year, the Duluth-based utility said. It will consist of 35 Siemens direct-drive wind turbines.

“This project demonstrates that renewable energy can be a low-cost generation option that will benefit all of our customers,” said Al Hodnik, chairman and CEO of Minnesota Power’s parent, Allete. “At the same time, it’s a logical next step that advances Allete’s growth strategy to meet the demands of an evolving energy industry.”

The company said Bison 2 will reduce its market purchases of electricity and reduce carbon emissions by 90,000 tons a year and cut 70 tons of sulfur dioxide and 60 tons of nitrogen oxides.

Plans for a similar size Bison 3 project were filed with the utilities commission in June.

Minnesota Power covers a 26,000 square-mile area in northeastern Minnesota with service to 144,000 customers and 16 municipalities.

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