Minnesota Power’s Great Northern Transmission Line Cited by White House as Leading Example of Building 21st Century

  Minnesota Power’s Great Northern Transmission Line Cited by White House as
  Leading Example of Building 21st Century Infrastructure

Business Wire

DULUTH, Minn. -- May 14, 2014

The White House issued a press release today applauding the United States
Department of Energy’s (DOE) involvement in Minnesota Power’s Great Northern
Transmission Line project as an example of President Obama’s renewed effort to
accelerate and modernize the federal infrastructure permitting process.

Minnesota Power, an ALLETE Company, applied last month to the DOE for the
Presidential Permit and also filed a route permit application with the
Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for the 500-kilovolt line. Even before
submitting these applications, Minnesota Power was closely coordinating with
the DOE on the Great Northern Transmission Line. The project requires a
Presidential Permit from the DOE because the transmission line will cross the
international border between Manitoba and Minnesota and the DOE is the lead
federal agency. The Great Northern Transmission Line will facilitate the
delivery of at least 750 megawatts (MW) of renewable hydro power into the U.S.
Beginning in 2020; Minnesota Power will use the line to deliver 250 MW from
Manitoba Hydro to Minnesota’s Iron Range through a power purchase agreement
approved by state regulators in 2012.

According to the release issued by the President’s Office of the Press
Secretary, “the Administration is taking action to modernize the federal
infrastructure permitting process, cutting through red tape and getting more
timely decisions, while protecting our communities and the environment. . .
President Obama has laid out his vision for a long-term infrastructure bill
that would provide certainty for our state and local partners, support
millions of jobs, and position our economy for lasting growth.”

The Great Northern Transmission Line was the first project listed in today’s
White House release as an example of how “key reforms” are already underway.
It stated the DOE initiated monthly meetings with other agencies and Minnesota
Power “to ensure early coordination.” Since 2012, Minnesota Power has held
more than 75 open houses and meetings with agencies, tribes, local government
units, landowners and the general public to gather input on the routing of the
transmission line project.

“Through these early coordination meetings,” the White House release said,
“the company was able to narrow down potential corridors to two routes in
their application which address agency concerns and will facilitate a more
efficient review process.” Two alternative routes of about 220 miles have been
proposed for the line.

“To have our Great Northern Transmission Line mentioned in this context is an
affirmation of our company’s shared purpose in action,” said Al Hodnik,
Chairman, President and CEO of ALLETE. “We are doing so much more than simply
building a 500-kV line from Manitoba to Blackberry, Minn. We are doing our
part to transform the nation’s energy landscape in the name of stewardship,
reliability and also affordability while growing ALLETE and its energy
businesses.”

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.

Contact:

Minnesota Power/ALLETE
Amy Rutledge, 218-723-7400
Manager - Corporate Communications
arutledge@mnpower.com
 
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