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May 2, 2008

ALLETE reports first quarter 2008 earnings of 82 cents per share

ALLETE reports first quarter 2008 earnings of 82 cents per share

Duluth, Minn. — May 2, 2008 — ALLETE, Inc. (NYSE: ALE) today reported first quarter 2008 earnings of 82 cents per share, compared to 93 cents per share in the first quarter of 2007.

Net income in the quarter ending March 31, 2008 was $23.6 million on revenue of $213.4 million, compared to net income of $26.3 million on revenue of $205.3 million in the first quarter a year ago.

"Financial performance in the first quarter was in line with our expectations," said Don Shippar, ALLETE's chairman, president and CEO. "We're on track to meet our earnings expectations of $2.70 to $2.90 per share in 2008."

ALLETE's Regulated Utility income declined in the first quarter of 2008 compared to 2007. Higher operating expenses and reduced margins on sales to other power suppliers were partially offset by additional revenue from customer rate adjustments that recover the costs of environmental retrofits now underway. The quarter also included increased electricity demand due, in part, to colder winter weather.

Nonregulated Energy Operations income was comparatively lower in 2008 due to a $1.2 million gain on the sale of property in northeastern Minnesota in the first quarter of 2007. A higher balance in ALLETE's investment in the American Transmission Company contributed to increased income in the ATC segment.

Income declined from $3.1 million in the first quarter of 2007 to a $500,000 net loss in the Real Estate segment, reflecting market conditions both nationally and in Florida. Financial results in this business typically fluctuate from quarter to quarter.

In ALLETE's Other segment, net income increased by $3.4 million, primarily due to gains on sales of investments.

ALLETE's corporate headquarters are in Duluth, Minnesota. ALLETE provides energy services in the upper Midwest and has significant real estate holdings in Florida. More information about the company is available on ALLETE's Web site at

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.

Investor Contact:
Tim Thorp