) unit Minnesota Power has completed operational and
commissioning process of the Bison 2 and 3 projects of its Bison
Wind Energy Center. This new renewable installation has a total
capacity of 210-megawatt ("MW"). These plants are located near
New Salem, North Dakota.
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These projects include
)-made 70 wind turbine generators, which are installed on the top
of the 265-foot towers based in south-central North Dakota. Each
of the turbines has generation-capability of 3MW of electricity
by way of direct-drive.
In August 2005, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA")
circulated a regulation that each of the federal agencies will
consume renewable energy in amounts of not less than 7.5% in 2013
To meet the environmental legislations, most of the utility
providers including Minnesota Power invest substantial amounts
for developing and upgrading their renewable emission-free
Minnesota Power has started its Bison project, a renewable energy
venture, in 2010. This project is connected with Minnesota by a
465-mile direct current ("DC") transmission line. Prior to Bison
2 and 3 projects, the company has completed its 82MW Bison 1
project with 15 wind turbines in February 2012.
Globally, demand for renewable energy is rising primarily due to
its clean nature and growing awareness regarding its benefits.
This factor influences the utility providers to shift their mode
of power generation to wind, solar and water from coal, oil and
With the installation of Bison 2 and 3 projects, share of
renewable generation in ALLETE's total electricity portfolio will
increase to 20%. This will subsequently enable the company to
meet the state's renewable energy goals.
The production of electricity from renewable sources is costlier
than the traditional resources. The renewable energy production
tax credit ("PTC") on wind generation will help ALLETE to recover
a portion of its production costs. However, this government
incentive is going to expire by the end of this year.
Minnesota-based ALLETE, Inc. is a multi-service provider and has
operations in Florida, North Dakota and Wisconsin. It has a wide
array of businesses; starting from supply of electricity and
water utility to automobile auction. With a market capitalization
of $1.55 billion, the company has 1,315 full-time employees.
ALLETE, Inc. currently has a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold