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Dec 22, 2020

ALLETE Clean Energy Begins Commercial Operations at Diamond Spring Wind Site

Company’s largest project generates electricity for Fortune 500 corporate customers

DULUTH, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 22, 2020-- ALLETE Clean Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of ALLETE, Inc. (NYSE: ALE), announced today the start of commercial operations at its Diamond Spring wind site in southern Oklahoma.

The output from the 303-megawatt Diamond Spring site is contracted to provide renewable energy to Walmart, Smithfield Foods and Starbucks though separate renewable energy sales agreements with 12-15 year terms.

Diamond Spring is ALLETE Clean Energy’s largest wind site, producing enough energy to power about 114,000 homes and increasing the company’s total wind capacity to more than 1,000 megawatts.

“Diamond Spring will help our customers achieve their climate-action goals and bring more renewable energy onto the nation’s power grid,” said ALLETE Clean Energy President Allan S. Rudeck Jr. “I’m extremely proud of our team for developing our largest wind site and bringing it to commercial operation on schedule during a global pandemic. We intend to continue to build on our strong reputation for delivering timely, responsible and cost-effective renewable solutions. ALLETE Clean Energy will continue to innovate and drive new growth opportunities in the clean-energy sector.”

“Meaningful and lasting actions to address climate change by utilities, cities, and corporate and industrial customers are an important part of ALLETE’s sustainability in action strategy and provide an exciting market for ALLETE Clean Energy as companies embrace sustainability goals,” said ALLETE President and CEO Bethany Owen.

Smithfield Foods, a $16 billion global food and agriculture company, announced a goal in 2016 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its supply chain 25 percent by 2025. Earlier this year, the company furthered its commitment to emissions reduction by announcing it will become carbon negative across its company-owned operations in the United States by 2030.

“Smithfield Foods has an ambitious carbon reduction program aimed at making a real, positive impact on the climate and generating value for multiple stakeholders,” said Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables for Smithfield Foods. “With the completion of the Diamond Spring project, the wind energy generated from this site will account for what is needed to power more than 15 percent of our total U.S. operations, marking a significant step forward in achieving our goals.”

ALLETE Clean Energy’s strategic purchase of wind turbines that qualify for the safe harbor provision of federal production tax credits enables Diamond Spring’s low energy costs. In addition to turbines installed at Diamond Spring, ALLETE Clean Energy retains more safe harbor turbines for additional wind site development.

With Diamond Spring online, ALLETE Clean Energy has turned its attention to developing the Caddo wind site in central Oklahoma. The 303-megawatt Caddo site is fully contracted to three corporate customers, of which 200 megawatts is contracted to McDonald’s Corp., increasing ALLETE Clean Energy’s share of the corporate and industrial clean-energy market. The project is expected to be operational by the end of 2021.

ALLETE Clean Energy acquires, develops and operates clean and renewable energy projects and is well-positioned to drive additional clean-energy sector growth. ALLETE Clean Energy owns, operates, has in advanced construction and has delivered build-transfer projects totaling more than 1,450 megawatts of nameplate wind capacity across seven states.

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

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.

Amy Rutledge
Manager - Corporate Communications

Source: ALLETE Clean Energy