DULUTH, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ALLETE Clean Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of ALLETE (NYSE: ALE), announced today it has received the 45th set of new wind turbine blades from international blade manufacturer Tecsis for its refurbishment initiative at its Storm Lake and Lake Benton wind facilities in Iowa and Minnesota, respectively.
ALLETE Clean Energy announced an $80 million project in August 2017 that includes replacing select blades, gearboxes and generators on turbines at the Lake Benton wind site in Lincoln County, Minnesota, and the Storm Lake I and II wind sites in Buena Vista and Cherokee counties, Iowa. The project will improve turbine performance and reliability, generate federal production tax credits at each site and support the renewal of power sale agreements at the Storm Lake sites.
Tecsis will provide more than 300 blades, utilizing the latest design and manufacturing technology to drive improved wind turbine generator performance.
“Tecsis provided a cost-effective, turnkey solution that has exceeded our expectations,” said Bill Sawyer, general manager – operations at ALLETE Clean Energy. “Tecsis has demonstrated its ability to design, manufacture and deliver blades and manage the project that will position Storm Lake and Lake Benton to continue safe, reliable and increasingly efficient clean energy production for years to come.”
The refurbishment is being staged from 2017 through 2020 to minimize turbine downtime and maximize safe energy production at each site. In total, the sites produce about 700,000 megawatt hours of energy per year, representing about 50 percent of ALLETE Clean Energy’s current electricity sales. More than half of the sites’ turbines have been refurbished, improving performance and qualifying them for federal production tax credits, supporting continued delivery of clean energy to utility customers across the upper Midwest.
“We are extremely excited about our partnership with ALLETE, a world-class power producer that constantly seeks the best energy solutions for North America’s renewables market,” said Fabiano Mori, chief executive officer of TECSIS. “Their ability to explore opportunities and their passion to create innovative solutions are undoubtedly some of the main reasons for their growth and something we take as an inspiration for our own business. We hope this project leads to more opportunities together in the future, helping them to deliver affordable, sustainable power to communities across the U.S.”
In addition to the turbine refurbishments that will continue through 2020, the project has completed installation of new communications infrastructure at the sites, integrating them into ALLETE Clean Energy’s corporate operations structure. New fiber optic connections, servers, and data acquisition and management systems will improve the operation of each site and secure the best performance.
Energy from the Lake Benton site is fully contracted through 2028, and approximately 8 megawatts of Storm Lake I production is contracted through 2032. Alliant recently extended its contract from Storm Lake II through mid-2020. ALLETE Clean Energy is working to recontract the balance of the Storm Lake I power sales agreements that expire in late 2019.
“ALLETE Clean Energy is consistently building shareholder value as it executes a thoughtful growth strategy,” said Allan S. Rudeck Jr, ALLETE Clean Energy president. “Maintaining and enhancing the Lake Benton and Storm Lake sites, along with extending power sales agreements, provide a cost-effective platform to sustain and grow the clean energy American businesses and citizens increasingly expect. Our partnership with Tecsis has been a winning formula, and their wind turbine blade expertise and knowledge brings great value to us and, ultimately, to our customers.”
ALLETE Clean Energy acquires, develops and operates clean and renewable energy projects. ALLETE Clean Energy currently owns and operates, in four states, approximately 545 megawatts of nameplate capacity wind energy generation that is contracted under PSAs of various durations. ALLETE Clean Energy also engages in the development of wind energy facilities to operate under long-term PSAs or for sale to others upon completion.
ALLETE Inc. is an energy company headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota. In addition to its electric utilities, Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power of Wisconsin, ALLETE owns ALLETE Clean Energy, based in Duluth; BNI Energy in Bismarck, North Dakota; and has an 8 percent equity interest in the American Transmission Co. More information about ALLETE is available at www.allete.com. ALE-CORP
TECSIS has more than 51,000 blades installed worldwide and almost 25 years of blade technology expertise. The company has repositioned itself through its OPTIMA Program as a solution provider and not simply a blade manufacturer, delivering a complete and affordable turnkey solution for repowering and life extension projects for wind farms, extending the useful life and improving the performance of customers’ assets. More information about TECSIS is available at www.tecsis.com.br
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.