ALLETE Starts Generating Electricity from Caddo Wind Site in Oklahoma


ALLETE Clean Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of ALLETE Inc., has started commercial operations at its Caddo Wind site in southern Oklahoma.

The output from the 303 MW Caddo site is contracted to provide renewable energy to McDonald’s Corp., Hormel Foods and Oshkosh Corp. through separate renewable energy sales agreements.

“Caddo is a prime example of how ALLETE Clean Energy helps customers achieve their climate action goals by adding renewable energy to the nation’s power supply,” says Allan S. Rudeck Jr., ALLETE Clean Energy’s president. “I am proud of our team and partners who together finalized development of Caddo and brought it to safe and successful commercial operation during a global pandemic. Their effort builds on our reputation for creating cost-effective renewable solutions for customers while driving growth in the expanding clean-energy sector.”

Caddo and ALLETE Clean Energy’s Diamond Spring Wind site, also in Oklahoma and serving Fortune 500 companies, are the company’s two largest wind sites at 303 MW each. Caddo also increases the company’s total wind capacity to more than 1,300 MW.

“ALLETE’s sustainability in action strategy is advancing significant, long-term solutions to address climate change for utilities, cities, and corporate and industrial customers,” states ALLETE chair, president and CEO Bethany Owen. “ALLETE Clean Energy has an exciting future as it executes its strategy to invest in and deliver clean-energy solutions while expanding its capabilities including wind, solar and storage to meet customers’ expectations.”

McDonald’s joined the United Nations Race to Zero campaign in 2021 and has pledged to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Once all of McDonald’s transacted U.S. renewable energy projects are online, including Caddo, the energy generated will be equivalent to over 8,000 U.S. restaurants’ worth of electricity and is expected to contribute to a 22% reduction from the company’s 2015 baseline.

Hormel Foods recently announced its goal to match 100% of its energy with renewable sourcing by 2030. The Caddo wind site will help the company achieve about 50% of its goal.

“As a leading global branded food company and unwavering corporate citizen, Hormel Foods is committed to being an outstanding steward of our environment, including doing our part for the world’s climate,” states Mark Coffey, group vice president of supply chain at Hormel Foods. “This project is a major step toward reaching our goal and is one of many that we are undertaking as part of our ambitious 20 by 30 Challenge agenda, in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

Oshkosh’s sustainability efforts include a goal of a 25% reduction in normalized greenhouse gas emissions at its facilities by 2024 when compared with 2014.

“Oshkosh Corporation is proud to participate in this project,” comments Kevin Tubbs, vice president and chief ethics, compliance and sustainability officer of Oshkosh Corp. “In addition to adding renewable energy to the nation’s power grid, it supports our company’s goal of reducing our impact on climate change.”

ALLETE Clean Energy’s strategic deployment of wind turbines that qualify for the safe harbor provision of federal production tax credits enables Caddo’s low energy costs. In addition to turbines installed at Caddo, ALLETE Clean Energy retains a valuable inventory of safe harbor turbines, and is exploring additional opportunities to put more of them to use to serve customers.

ALLETE Inc. is an energy company headquartered in Duluth, Minn. In addition to its electric utilities, Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power of Wisconsin, ALLETE owns ALLETE Clean Energy, based in Duluth; BNI Energy in Bismarck, N.D.; and has an 8% equity interest in the American Transmission Co.

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