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Minnesota Power wind project approved

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.