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Minnesota Power

Bison Wind Projects gets 200-Megawatt Expansion

DULUTH, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Minnesota Power, a division of ALLETE (ALE), plans to begin
construction this year on a 200-megawatt expansion of its Bison wind
project that will deliver more economical, carbon-free energy to
customers while substantially meeting Minnesota’s renewable energy
standard of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025. The project will be the
single largest wind addition to the company’s fleet.

Bison 4 will increase the company’s wind portfolio by more than 50
percent to more than 600 megawatts of wind generation. Construction on
phase 4 of the Bison Wind Energy Center, anticipated to begin in the
fourth quarter this year, will add 64 more wind turbines to the 101
turbines Minnesota Power has installed since 2010 near New Salem, N.D.
Estimated to be operational by the end of 2014, the project will
generate enough energy to power 92,000 homes.

“We’ve found a way to meet the state of Minnesota’s renewable energy
standard early and reduce costs at the same time,” said Al Hodnik,
chairman, president and CEO of ALLETE. “Expanding Bison will add to our
renewable energy supply, resulting in the lowest cost resource over time
by capturing the benefits of the extended production tax credit and a
competitive turbine market, while executing ALLETE’s growth strategy.”

Adding more wind to its generation mix is a key component of the
company’s EnergyForward plan for a less emission-intense
energy supply. As part of the company’s resource evaluation, it
solicited requests for wind power proposals in the spring of 2013. Bison
4 was selected as the lowest cost project.

“Investing in wind now makes economic and environmental sense and
reflects our commitment to transform our nation’s energy supply and meet
state environmental goals while helping to ensure the reliable and
affordable power our customers expect,” Hodnik said. “The Bison
expansion also moves us closer to achieving a more diverse energy mix of
one-third renewable, one-third coal and one-third natural gas.”

The wind farm expansion will make Minnesota Power’s Bison project, with
about 500 megawatts of capacity, the largest single wind energy center
in North Dakota. Minnesota Power has optioned more than 50,000 more
acres in North Dakota to accommodate the expansion. The company now has
landowner relationships representing more than 130,000 acres across the
growing Bison footprint. Renewable energy generated by the Bison project
is transmitted to Minnesota Power’s Arrowhead Substation near Duluth
over a 465-mile direct current transmission line the company acquired in
2009.

Estimated to cost approximately $345 million, Bison 4 will be
constructed in Oliver County, N.D., north and west of the project’s
first three phases currently in operation. The expansion will include a
new substation and approximately 11 miles of a 230-kilovolt transmission
line.

Minnesota’s renewable energy standard requires that utilities generate
25 percent of their power from renewable energy by 2025. The company
anticipates that renewable wind, biomass, and hydro energy will account
for approximately 25 percent of its projected electric sales following
Bison 4’s first full year of operation in 2015.

The project is dependent upon regulatory approvals in North Dakota and
Minnesota. Minnesota Power has filed a site permit application with
North Dakota regulators and intends to submit a request to the Minnesota
Public Utilities Commission for project approval and cost recovery
through a renewable energy rider on customer bills.

Minnesota Power provides electric service within a 26,000-square-mile
area in northeastern Minnesota, supporting comfort, security and quality
of life for 143,000 customers, 16 municipalities and some of the largest
industrial customers in the United States. More information can be found
at www.mnpower.com.

The statements contained in this release and statements that ALLETE
may make orally in connection with this release that are not historical
facts, are forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ
materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These
forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and investors
are directed to the risks discussed in documents filed by ALLETE with
the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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