ALLETE Clean Energy to Build 100MW Wind Farm

The wind-generating facility will expand the company's wind portfolio to 640 megawatts across five states.

Duluth, Minn.—ALLETE Clean Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ALLETE Inc., will build, own and operate a 100-megawatt wind farm in Morton and Mercer counties in North Dakota. The firm will supply electricity to Xcel Energy under a signed 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

The Clean Energy 1 project, located north of Glen Ullin, N.D., has been under development since 2011. Permits were released by the North Dakota Public Service Commission and landowner agreements are in place.

Construction is anticipated to begin in 2018 and will use the latest wind turbine technology to maximize production. While the project is scheduled for completion in 2019, the PPA is subject to regulatory approval.

“We are excited to partner with Xcel Energy to deliver additional low-cost wind resources to serve their customers,” Allan Rudeck Jr., president of ALLETE Clean Energy, said in a prepared statement. “We will work closely with area landowners, county officials and state regulators as we harness North Dakota’s world-class wind resources.”

To qualify for federal renewable energy production tax credits, the project may utilize a set of wind turbines acquired by the firm in 2016 which meet the standards for the tax credit “Safe Harbor” provision.

ALLETE Clean Energy’s portfolio includes facilities in Minnesota, Iowa, Oregon and Pennsylvania that were purchased from other companies. It developed the 107.5-megawatt Thunder Spirit wind farm in North Dakota, which was sold to Montana-Dakota Utilities in 2015. However, in January 2017, the firm announced plans to expand the facility to about 150 megawatts through a PPA with its current owner, who also has the option to purchase the expansion.

“Wind prices are at historic lows and we’re taking advantage of these low-cost projects to transition our energy fleet and secure these prices for our customers,” said Chris Clark, president of Xcel Energy-Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. “Our customers count on us to provide reliable and affordable energy and this investment will do just that.”

Video courtesy of ALLETE Clean Energy