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Allete subsidiary buys three wind farms for $27 million

Allete Inc.’s subsidiary, Allete Clean Energy, has completed its purchase of three wind farms in Minnesota, Iowa and Oregon for $27 million.

The three wind energy projects were purchased from AES Corp., a Fortune 200 company based in Arlington, Va., that generates and distributes electric power.

The wind farms — in Lake Benton, Minn., Storm Lake, Iowa, and Condon, Ore. — have a total output of 231 mega-watts. All three farms have power purchase agreements to sell their entire electric output to utilities in their regions.

Since Allete announced the purchase agreements in November, closing conditions were met, including approval by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The acquisitions represent an expansion of Allete’s operations.

By acquiring the wind farms, Allete Clean Energy can establish the core infrastructure that will allow it to expand to other wind and other clean energy projects, said President Eric Norberg.

“It’s a significant and diverse first step in the implementation of new

energy-centric projects,” he said in a statement.

The three wind farms have about 40 employees who operate and maintain farms, most of whom have opted to stay on under the new Allete ownerships,

according to Allete.

Dan Leveille, who was named director of asset management for Allete Clean Energy on Jan. 1, will oversee the three facilities. He previously worked for Minnesota Power, one of Allete’s utility companies.

In November, Allete Clean Energy also signed an option agreement to buy a fourth AES wind farm in mid-2015. The 101-megawatt Armenia Mountain farm near the Pennsylvania-New York border became operational in 2009. ___

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