American Transmission Co., Minnesota Power enter into partnership agreement
Companies will jointly develop transmission to move renewable power, enhance electric system reliability in Midwestern U.S.
Pewaukee, Wis. – American Transmission Co. and Minnesota Power, a utility division of ALLETE (NYSE: ALE), have entered into a partnership agreement to study transmission development options to move Midwestern wind energy as well as Canadian hydroelectric power into Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan to help local utilities enhance reliability and meet renewable energy goals.
Separately, Minnesota Power plans to enhance its transmission infrastructure fromWinnipegtoMinnesota’sMesabiIronRange. Minnesota Power recently signed a 15-year agreement to purchase 250 megawatts of hydroelectricity from Manitoba Hydro’s proposed 695-MW Keeyask Hydroelectric Plant in Northern Manitoba.
To further facilitate movement of this renewable energy, ATC and Minnesota Power are partnering to develop a proposed 50-mile, double-circuit 345-kilovolt transmission line from theMesabiIronRangeto the companies’ jointly owned Arrowhead Substation inDuluth,Minn., for service in approximately 2020. In addition, the partners are studying transmission options to strengthen regional electric system reliability and move clean energy from the Arrowhead Substation inDuluthintoWisconsinandMichigan. Total project cost, ownership shares and cost allocation still are to be determined.
John Flynn, ATC vice president of Strategic Planning and Business Development, said, “The transmission grid does not end at state lines or national borders. Strategic connections between clean energy generation and load centers within a given region can deliver the greatest reliability, economic and public policy benefits for utilities and electric consumers.”
ALLETE Chairman, President and CEO Alan R. Hodnik, said, “Transmission development is the vital link in connecting these abundant Canadian renewable energy resources to the Midwestern United States. We look forward to working with ATC on identifying and developing cost-effective solutions for the safe and reliable delivery of this power to Minnesota Power customers as well as other utilities in the region.”
ATC and Minnesota Power worked together on the 220-mile, 345-kV Arrowhead-Weston transmission line from Duluth, Minn., to Wausau, Wis., which was placed in service in 2008.