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Duluth, Minn.-based Minnesota Power has proposed to purchase a major transmission line from North Dakota, phase out a long-term contract to buy coal-based electricity and add several hundred megawatts of wind generation.

The key element of this strategic project is Minnesota Power's purchase of a direct current (DC) transmission line that extends from the wind-rich plains of central North Dakota to the Arrowhead Substation in Hermantown, Minn.

The proposal calls for the DC line, now owned by Square Butte Electric Co-op., to be sold to Minnesota Power for approximately $80 million in early 2009. It is now used to transmit electricity generated at the Milton R. Young Generating Station in Center, N.D.

Electricity generated at the Young Station is presently shared by Minnesota Power and Minnkota Power Co-op., an affiliate of the Square Butte Co-op. Over the next several years, Minnesota Power will phase out its generation rights at Young Unit 2. Minnkota will pursue new options for delivering power from the Young Station to its primary customers in the Red River Valley.

"Our power requirements projections indicate a need for additional baseload generation, and the Young 2 addition would satisfy a large part of that need," says David Loer, Minnkota president and CEO.

SOURCE: Minnesota Power

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