Minnesota Power Accelerates Plan To Build Third Wind Project

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Minnesota Power, an ALLETE company, says it has accelerated its plans to build a third wind project in North Dakota, citing a competitive turbine market, the federal production tax credit (PTC) and regulatory support as factors for moving up its timeline.

The company submitted a plan to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) this week to build a 105 MW, $157 million wind farm in Oliver and Morton counties in central North Dakota.

The 35-turbine Bison III project will be constructed near the company's Bison I and II wind projects, which are currently in development.

Upon approving Minnesota Power's long-term resource plan in May, the PUC urged the company to strongly consider adding more wind to its renewable portfolio before the expiration of the federal PTC on Dec. 31, 2012.

The energy from all three projects will be delivered to Minnesota Power customers via a direct-current transmission line that stretches 465 miles from the Square Butte Substation in Center, N.D., to the company's Arrowhead Substation near Duluth.

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