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United States
Securities and Exchange Commission
Washington, D.C. 20549
Form 10-K
(Mark One)
 Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
         For the year ended December 31, 2023
Transition Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For the transition period from ______________ to ______________
Commission File Number 1-3548
ALLETE, Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Minnesota 41-0418150
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization) (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
30 West Superior Street, Duluth, Minnesota 55802-2093
(Address of principal executive offices, including zip code)
(218) 279-5000
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading SymbolName of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, without par valueALENew York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:     None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.     Yes     No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes      No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.     Yes     No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).     Yes     No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.     
        Large Accelerated Filer                 Accelerated Filer    
         Non-Accelerated Filer             Smaller Reporting Company    
                             Emerging Growth Company    
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b).
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).     Yes      No
The aggregate market value of voting stock held by nonaffiliates on June 30, 2023, was $3,320,941,939.
As of February 1, 2024, there were 57,578,222 shares of ALLETE Common Stock, without par value, outstanding.
Documents Incorporated By Reference
Portions of the Proxy Statement for the 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference in Part III.





Index
  
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
2




Index (Continued)
 
  
  

ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
3




Definitions

The following abbreviations or acronyms are used in the text. References in this report to “we,” “us” and “our” are to ALLETE, Inc. and its subsidiaries, collectively.
Abbreviation or AcronymTerm
AFUDCAllowance for Funds Used During Construction - the cost of both debt and equity funds used to finance utility plant additions during construction periods
ALLETEALLETE, Inc.
ALLETE Clean EnergyALLETE Clean Energy, Inc. and its subsidiaries
ALLETE PropertiesALLETE Properties, LLC and its subsidiaries
ALLETE South WindALLETE South Wind, LLC
ALLETE Transmission HoldingsALLETE Transmission Holdings, Inc.
ArcelorMittalArcelorMittal USA LLC
AROAsset Retirement Obligation
ASUAccounting Standards Update
ATCAmerican Transmission Company LLC
BasinBasin Electric Power Cooperative
BisonBison Wind Energy Center
BNI EnergyBNI Energy, Inc. and its subsidiary
BoswellBoswell Energy Center
C&ICommercial and Industrial
Camp RipleyCamp Ripley Solar Array
Cenovus EnergyCenovus Energy Inc.
CIPConservation Improvement Program
CliffsCleveland-Cliffs Inc.
CompanyALLETE, Inc. and its subsidiaries
COVID-192019 novel coronavirus
CSAPRCross-State Air Pollution Rule
CTOChief Technology Officer
DCDirect Current
DOCU.S. Department of Commerce
ECOEnergy Conservation and Optimization
EPAUnited States Environmental Protection Agency
ELGEffluent Limitation Guidelines
ESOPEmployee Stock Ownership Plan
FASBFinancial Accounting Standards Board
FERCFederal Energy Regulatory Commission
FGDFlue Gas Desulphurization
FIPFederal Implementation Plan
Form 8-KALLETE Current Report on Form 8-K
Form 10-KALLETE Annual Report on Form 10-K
Form 10-QALLETE Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q
GAAPGenerally Accepted Accounting Principles in the United States of America
GHGGreenhouse Gases
GNTLGreat Northern Transmission Line
Hibbing TaconiteHibbing Taconite Co.
HLBVHypothetical Liquidation at Book Value
Husky EnergyHusky Energy Inc.

ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
4




Definitions (Continued)

Abbreviation or AcronymTerm
HVDCHigh-Voltage Direct-Current
IBEWInternational Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Invest DirectALLETE’s Direct Stock Purchase and Dividend Reinvestment Plan
IRPIntegrated Resource Plan
Item ___Item ___ of this Form 10-K
kVKilovolt(s)
kW / kWhKilowatt(s) / Kilowatt-hour(s)
Lampert Capital MarketsLampert Capital Markets, Inc.
LaskinLaskin Energy Center
LLCLimited Liability Company
MACTMaximum Achievable Control Technology
MATSMercury and Air Toxics Standards
Manitoba HydroManitoba Hydro-Electric Board
MBtuMillion British thermal units
Minnesota PowerAn operating division of ALLETE, Inc.
Minnkota PowerMinnkota Power Cooperative, Inc.
MISOMidcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.
Moody’sMoody’s Investors Service, Inc.
MPCAMinnesota Pollution Control Agency
MPUCMinnesota Public Utilities Commission
MROMidwest Reliability Organization
MW / MWhMegawatt(s) / Megawatt-hour(s)
NAAQSNational Ambient Air Quality Standards
NDPSCNorth Dakota Public Service Commission
NERCNorth American Electric Reliability Corporation
New EnergyNew Energy Equity LLC
Nippon SteelNippon Steel Corporation
NISTNational Institute of Standards and Technology
Nobles 2Nobles 2 Power Partners, LLC
NOLNet Operating Loss
NO2
Nitrogen Dioxide
NOX
Nitrogen Oxides
Northshore MiningNorthshore Mining Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cliffs
Note ___Note ___ to the consolidated financial statements in this Form 10-K
NPDESNational Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
NTECNemadji Trail Energy Center
NYSENew York Stock Exchange
Oliver Wind IOliver Wind I Energy Center
Oliver Wind IIOliver Wind II Energy Center
Palm Coast Park DistrictPalm Coast Park Community Development District in Florida
PPA / PSAPower Purchase Agreement / Power Sales Agreement
PPACAPatient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010
ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
5




Definitions (Continued)
Abbreviation or AcronymTerm
PSCWPublic Service Commission of Wisconsin
PVPhotovoltaic
RFPRequest for Proposals
RSOPRetirement Savings and Stock Ownership Plan
SECSecurities and Exchange Commission
S&PS&P Global Ratings
SIPState Implementation Plan
Silver Bay PowerSilver Bay Power Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cliffs
SIPState Implementation Plan
SO2
Sulfur Dioxide
SOCSystem and Organizational Controls
SofidelThe Sofidel Group
South Shore EnergySouth Shore Energy, LLC
Square ButteSquare Butte Electric Cooperative, a North Dakota cooperative corporation
Standard & Poor’sS&P Global Ratings
ST PaperST Paper LLC
SWL&PSuperior Water, Light and Power Company
Taconite HarborTaconite Harbor Energy Center
Taconite RidgeTaconite Ridge Energy Center
Town Center DistrictTown Center at Palm Coast Community Development District in Florida
United TaconiteUnited Taconite LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cliffs
UPM BlandinUPM, Blandin paper mill owned by UPM-Kymmene Corporation
U.S.United States of America
USS CorporationUnited States Steel Corporation
VEBAVoluntary Employee Benefit Association
VIEVariable Interest Entities
WTGWind Turbine Generator
ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
6




Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this report that are not statements of historical facts are considered “forward-looking” and, accordingly, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. Although such forward-looking statements have been made in good faith and are based on reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that the expected results will be achieved. Any statements that express, or involve discussions as to, future expectations, risks, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, events, uncertainties, financial performance, or growth strategies (often, but not always, through the use of words or phrases such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “projects,” “likely,” “will continue,” “could,” “may,” “potential,” “target,” “outlook” or words of similar meaning) are not statements of historical facts and may be forward-looking.
In connection with the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, we are providing this cautionary statement to identify important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated in forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of ALLETE in this Form 10-K, in presentations, on our website, in response to questions or otherwise. These statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to, and are accompanied by, the following important factors, in addition to any assumptions and other factors referred to specifically in connection with such forward-looking statements that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements:

our ability to successfully implement our strategic objectives;
global and domestic economic conditions affecting us or our customers;
changes in and compliance with laws and regulations or changes in tax rates or policies;
changes in rates of inflation or availability of key materials and suppliers;
the outcome of legal and administrative proceedings (whether civil or criminal) and settlements;
weather conditions, natural disasters and pandemic diseases;
our ability to access capital markets, bank financing and other financing sources;
changes in interest rates and the performance of the financial markets;
project delays or changes in project costs;
changes in operating expenses and capital expenditures and our ability to raise revenues from our customers;
the impacts of commodity prices on ALLETE and our customers;
our ability to attract and retain qualified, skilled and experienced personnel;
effects of emerging technology;
war, acts of terrorism and cybersecurity attacks;
our ability to manage expansion and integrate acquisitions;
population growth rates and demographic patterns;
wholesale power market conditions;
federal and state regulatory and legislative actions that impact regulated utility economics, including our allowed rates of return, capital structure, ability to secure financing, industry and rate structure, acquisition and disposal of assets and facilities, operation and construction of plant facilities and utility infrastructure, recovery of purchased power, capital investments and other expenses, including present or prospective environmental matters;
effects of competition, including competition for retail and wholesale customers;
effects of restructuring initiatives in the electric industry;
the impacts on our businesses of climate change and future regulation to restrict the emissions of GHG;
effects of increased deployment of distributed low-carbon electricity generation resources;
the impacts of laws and regulations related to renewable and distributed generation;
pricing, availability and transportation of fuel and other commodities and the ability to recover the costs of such commodities;
our current and potential industrial and municipal customers’ ability to execute announced expansion plans;
real estate market conditions where our legacy Florida real estate investment is located may deteriorate; and
the success of efforts to realize value from, invest in, and develop new opportunities.

Additional disclosures regarding factors that could cause our results or performance to differ from those anticipated by this report are discussed in Part 1, Item 1A under the heading “Risk Factors” of this Form 10-K. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward‑looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which that statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all of these factors, nor can it assess the impact of each of these factors on the businesses of ALLETE or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Readers are urged to carefully review and consider the various disclosures made by ALLETE in this Form 10-K and in other reports filed with the SEC that attempt to identify the risks and uncertainties that may affect ALLETE’s business.
ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
7




Part I

Item 1. Business

Overview.

ALLETE is a leader in the nation’s clean-energy transformation. Our businesses and dedicated employees deliver sustainable energy solutions that mitigate climate change, build thriving communities, help customers reach their sustainability goals and drive value for shareholders. In 2020, ALLETE’s largest business, Minnesota Power, reached a milestone of providing 50 percent renewable energy to its retail and municipal customers in Minnesota, and in 2023 delivered 50 percent renewable energy to those customers. The Company envisions delivering 100 percent carbon-free energy to customers by 2050—a vision grounded in a steadfast commitment to climate, customers and community through its EnergyForward strategy. ALLETE Clean Energy, our second-largest business, is positioned at the heart of society’s clean-energy transformation and owns, operates and has developed for others more than 1,600 megawatts of wind energy generation across eight states—helping some of the largest companies in the country reduce their carbon footprint. Our newest business, New Energy, is a leading developer of community, commercial and industrial, and small utility-scale renewable energy projects that has completed more than 500 MW in its history.

Minnesota Power’s latest IRP, approved by the MPUC in an order dated January 9, 2023, outlines its clean-energy transition plans through 2035. These plans include expanding its renewable energy supply to 70 percent by 2030, achieving coal-free operations at its facilities by 2035, and investing in a resilient and flexible transmission and distribution grid. Minnesota Power has also set a target to achieve an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2035 compared to 2005 levels. As part of these plans, Minnesota Power anticipates adding up to 700 MW of new wind and solar energy resources, and ceasing coal operations at Boswell Units 3 and 4 by 2030 and 2035, respectively. Minnesota Power’s plans recognize that advances in technology will play a significant role in completing its transition to carbon-free energy supply, reliably and affordably.

In recent years, Minnesota Power has transformed its company-owned energy supply from more than a 95 percent reliance on coal to become a leader in the nation’s clean-energy transformation. Since 2013, the company has closed or converted seven of its nine coal-fired units and added nearly 900 megawatts of renewable energy sources. Additionally, Minnesota Power has been a leader in energy conservation, surpassing the state’s conservation goals each year for the past decade.

On February 7, 2023, the Minnesota Governor signed into law legislation that updates the state’s renewable energy standard and requires Minnesota electric utilities to source retail sales with 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2040. The Company is evaluating the law to identify challenges and opportunities it could present. Minnesota Power is also working with various stakeholders and participating in the regulatory process to implement this legislation. (See Regulated Operations – Minnesota Legislation.)

ALLETE is committed to earning a financial return that rewards our shareholders, allows for reinvestment in our businesses, and sustains growth. ALLETE is predominately a regulated utility through Minnesota Power, SWL&P, and an investment in ATC. ALLETE’s strategy is to remain predominately a regulated utility while investing in ALLETE Clean Energy, New Energy and its Corporate and Other businesses to complement its regulated businesses, balance exposure to the utility’s industrial customers, and provide potential long-term earnings growth.

Regulated Operations includes our regulated utilities, Minnesota Power and SWL&P, as well as our investment in ATC, a Wisconsin-based regulated utility that owns and maintains electric transmission assets in portions of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. Minnesota Power provides regulated utility electric service in northeastern Minnesota to approximately 150,000 retail customers. Minnesota Power also has 14 non-affiliated municipal customers in Minnesota. SWL&P is a Wisconsin utility and a wholesale customer of Minnesota Power. SWL&P provides regulated utility electric, natural gas and water service in northwestern Wisconsin to approximately 15,000 electric customers, 13,000 natural gas customers and 10,000 water customers. Our regulated utility operations include retail and wholesale activities under the jurisdiction of state and federal regulatory authorities. (See Note 4. Regulatory Matters.)

ALLETE Clean Energy focuses on developing, acquiring, and operating clean and renewable energy projects. ALLETE Clean Energy currently owns and operates, in seven states, more than 1,200 MW of nameplate capacity wind energy generation with a majority contracted under PSAs of various durations. In addition, ALLETE Clean Energy engages in the development of wind energy facilities to operate under long-term PSAs or for sale to others upon completion.

ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
8




Overview (Continued)

Corporate and Other is comprised of New Energy, a renewable development company; our investment in Nobles 2, an entity that owns and operates a 250 MW wind energy facility in southwestern Minnesota; South Shore Energy, our non-rate regulated, Wisconsin subsidiary developing NTEC, an approximately 600 MW proposed combined-cycle natural gas-fired generating facility; BNI Energy, our coal mining operations in North Dakota; ALLETE Properties, our legacy Florida real estate investment; other business development and corporate expenditures; unallocated interest expense; a small amount of non-rate base generation; land holdings in Minnesota; and earnings on cash and investments.

ALLETE is incorporated under the laws of Minnesota. Our corporate headquarters are in Duluth, Minnesota. Statistical information is presented as of December 31, 2023, unless otherwise indicated. All subsidiaries are wholly-owned unless otherwise specifically indicated. References in this report to “we,” “us” and “our” are to ALLETE and its subsidiaries, collectively.

Year Ended December 31202320222021
Consolidated Operating Revenue – Millions (a)
$1,879.8$1,570.7$1,419.2
Percentage of Consolidated Operating Revenue   
Regulated Operations66 %80 %87 %
ALLETE Clean Energy (a)
22 %%%
Corporate and Other (b)
12 %12 %%
 100 %100 %100 %
(a)     Consolidated operating revenue for 2023 includes the sales of ALLETE Clean Energy’s Northern Wind and Red Barn projects.
(b)    Consolidated operating revenue for 2023 and 2022 includes revenue from New Energy, which was acquired in the second quarter of 2022. (See Note. 5 Acquisitions.)
For a detailed discussion of results of operations and trends, see Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations. For business segment information, see Note 1. Operations and Significant Accounting Policies and Note 14. Business Segments.


ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
9




REGULATED OPERATIONS

Electric Sales / Customers
Regulated Utility Kilowatt-hours Sold
Year Ended December 312023%2022%2021%
Millions
Retail and Municipal
Residential1,089 1,148 1,135 
Commercial1,347 11 1,359 11 1,359 
Industrial7,044 55 6,745 52 7,196 47 
Municipal466 540 590 
Total Retail and Municipal9,946 78 9,792 76 10,280 67 
Other Power Suppliers2,819 22 3,149 24 5,102 33 
Total Regulated Utility Kilowatt-hours Sold12,765 100 12,941 100 15,382 100 
Industrial Customers. In 2023, industrial customers represented 55 percent of total regulated utility kWh sales. Our industrial customers are primarily in the taconite mining, paper, pulp and secondary wood products, and pipeline industries. Cliffs idled all production at its Northshore mine in 2022 and resumed partial pellet plant production in April 2023. (See Outlook – Regulated Operations – Industrial Customers – Taconite.)
Industrial Customer Kilowatt-hours Sold
Year Ended December 312023%2022%2021%
Millions
Taconite4,935 70 4,713 70 5,281 73 
Paper, Pulp and Secondary Wood Products669 10 735 11 702 10 
Pipelines and Other Industrial1,440 20 1,297 19 1,213 17 
Total Industrial Customer Kilowatt-hours Sold7,044 100 6,745 100 7,196 100 
Six taconite facilities served by Minnesota Power made up approximately 70 percent of 2022 iron ore pellet production in the U.S. according to data from the Minnesota Department of Revenue 2023 Mining Tax Guide. These taconite facilities are owned by Cliffs and USS Corporation. (See Large Power Customer Contracts.) Sales to taconite customers represented 4,935 million kWh, or 70 percent of total industrial customer kWh sales in 2023. Taconite, an iron bearing rock of relatively low iron content, is abundantly available in northern Minnesota and an important domestic source of raw material for the steel industry. Taconite processing plants use large quantities of electric power to grind the iron-bearing rock, and agglomerate and pelletize the iron particles into taconite pellets.

Minnesota Power’s taconite customers are capable of producing approximately 41 million tons of taconite pellets annually. Taconite pellets produced in Minnesota are primarily shipped to North American steel making facilities that are part of the integrated steel industry, which continue to lead the world in environmental performance among steelmaking countries. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, steel production in the U.S. is the most energy efficient of any major steel producing country. Steel produced from these North American facilities is used primarily in the manufacture of automobiles, appliances, tubular applications for all industries, and in the construction industry. Steel is also a critical component of the clean energy transformation underway today. The demand for more renewable energy and the need for additional infrastructure to transport green energy from the point of generation to the end user both require steel. Historically, approximately 10 percent of Minnesota taconite production has been exported outside of North America.

There has been a general historical correlation between U.S. steel production and Minnesota taconite production. The American Iron and Steel Institute, an association of North American steel producers, reported that U.S. raw steel production operated at approximately 75 percent of capacity in 2023 (78 percent in 2022 and 82 percent in 2021). The World Steel Association, an association of steel producers, national and regional steel industry associations, and steel research institutes representing approximately 85 percent of world steel production, projected U.S. steel consumption in 2024 will increase by approximately 2 percent compared to 2023.


ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
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REGULATED OPERATIONS (Continued)
Industrial Customers (Continued)

The following table reflects Minnesota Power’s taconite customers’ production levels for the past ten years:
Minnesota Power Taconite Customer Production
YearTons (Millions)
2023*35
202232
202139
202030
201937
201839
201738
201628
201531
201439
Source: Minnesota Department of Revenue 2023 Mining Tax Guide for years 2014 - 2022.
* Preliminary data from the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
Minnesota Power’s taconite customers may experience annual variations in production levels due to such factors as economic conditions, short-term demand changes or maintenance outages. We estimate that a one million ton change in Minnesota Power’s taconite customers’ production would impact our annual earnings per share by approximately $0.05, net of expected power marketing sales at current prices. Changes in wholesale electric prices or customer contractual demand nominations could impact this estimate. Minnesota Power proactively sells power in the wholesale power markets that is temporarily not required by industrial customers to optimize the value of its generating facilities. Long-term reductions in taconite production or a permanent shut down of a taconite customer may lead Minnesota Power to file a general rate case to recover lost revenue.

In addition to serving the taconite industry, Minnesota Power serves a number of customers in the paper, pulp and secondary wood products industry, which represented 669 million kWh, or 10 percent of total industrial customer kWh sales in 2023. Minnesota Power also has an agreement to provide steam for one paper and pulp customer for use in the customer’s operations. The major paper and pulp mills we serve reported operating at similar levels in 2023 compared to 2022. ST Paper completed start-up of operations and is now a Large Power Customer as of the first quarter of 2023. On January 3, 2024, ST Paper announced it had entered into an asset purchase agreement to sell the Duluth Mill to Sofidel (See Outlook – Regulated Operations – Industrial Customers – Paper, Pulp and Secondary Wood Products – ST Paper.)

Large Power Customer Contracts. Minnesota Power had eight Large Power Customer contracts as of December 31, 2023, each serving requirements of 10 MW or more of customer load. Certain facilities with common ownership are served under combined contracts. The customers as of December 31, 2023 consisted of six taconite facilities owned by Cliffs and USS Corporation as well as four paper and pulp mills. Minnesota Power also serves Northshore Mining through a PSA with its affiliate Silver Bay Power, in addition to the load served through its Large Power Contract with United Taconite and Northshore Mining. (See Silver Bay Power PSA.)


ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
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REGULATED OPERATIONS (Continued)
Large Power Customer Contracts (Continued)

Large Power Customer contracts require Minnesota Power to have a certain amount of generating capacity available. In turn, each Large Power Customer is required to pay a minimum monthly demand charge that covers the fixed costs associated with having this capacity available to serve the customer, including a return on common equity. Most contracts allow customers to establish the level of megawatts subject to a demand charge on a three- to four-month basis and require that a portion of their megawatt needs be committed on a take-or-pay basis for at least a portion of the term of the agreement. In addition to the demand charge, each Large Power Customer is billed an energy charge for each kWh used that recovers the variable costs incurred in generating electricity. Five of the Large Power Customer contracts have interruptible service which provides a discounted demand rate in exchange for the ability to interrupt the customers during system emergencies. Minnesota Power also provides incremental production service for customer demand levels above the contractual take-or-pay levels. There is no demand charge for this service and energy is priced at an increment above Minnesota Power’s cost. Incremental production service is interruptible.

All contracts with Large Power Customers continue past the contract termination date unless the required advance notice of cancellation has been given. The required advance notice of cancellation varies from two to four years. Such contracts reduce the impact on earnings that otherwise would result from significant reductions in kWh sales to such customers. Large Power Customers are required to take all of their purchased electric service requirements from Minnesota Power for the duration of their contracts. The rates and corresponding revenue associated with capacity and energy provided under these contracts are subject to change through the same regulatory process governing all retail electric rates. (See Regulatory Matters – Electric Rates.)

Minnesota Power, as permitted by the MPUC, requires its taconite-producing Large Power Customers to pay weekly for electric usage based on monthly energy usage estimates. These customers receive estimated bills or make weekly prepayments based on Minnesota Power’s estimate of the customer’s energy usage, forecasted energy prices and fuel adjustment clause estimates. Minnesota Power’s taconite producing Large Power Customers have generally predictable energy usage on a week-to-week basis and any differences that occur are trued-up the following month.

Contract Status for Minnesota Power Large Power Customers
As of December 31, 2023
CustomerIndustryLocationOwnershipEarliest
Termination Date
Cliffs – Minorca Mine (a)
TaconiteVirginia, MNCliffsDecember 31, 2027
Hibbing Taconite (a)(d)
TaconiteHibbing, MN85.3% Cliffs
14.7% USS Corporation
December 31, 2027
United Taconite and Northshore Mining (a)
TaconiteEveleth, MN and Babbitt, MNCliffsDecember 31, 2027
USS Corporation
(USS – Minnesota Ore) (a)(b)(d)
TaconiteMtn. Iron, MN and Keewatin, MNUSS CorporationDecember 31, 2027
Boise, Inc. (a)
PaperInternational Falls, MNPackaging Corporation of AmericaDecember 31, 2027
UPM BlandinPaperGrand Rapids, MNUPM-Kymmene CorporationDecember 31, 2029
Sappi Cloquet LLC (a)
Paper and PulpCloquet, MNSappi LimitedDecember 31, 2027
ST Paper Duluth (c)
PaperDuluth, MNST Paper LLCFebruary 28, 2029
(a)The contract will terminate four years from the date of written notice from either Minnesota Power or the customer. No notice of contract cancellation has been given by either party. Thus, the earliest date of cancellation is December 31, 2027.
(b)USS Corporation owns both the Minntac Plant in Mountain Iron, MN, and the Keewatin Taconite Plant in Keewatin, MN.
(c)In January 2024, ST Paper announced it had entered into an asset purchase agreement to sell its paper mill in Duluth, Minnesota to Sofidel. (See Outlook – Regulated Operations – Industrial Customers Paper, Pulp and Secondary Wood Products.)
(d)In December 2023, USS Corporation announced it entered into a definitive agreement in which Nippon Steel will acquire all of USS Corporation’s stock. (See Outlook – Regulated Operations – Industrial Customers Taconite.)


ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
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REGULATED OPERATIONS (Continued)

Silver Bay Power PSA. Minnesota Power has a PSA with Silver Bay Power through 2031 to supply its full energy requirements. Silver Bay Power supplies approximately 90 MW of load to Northshore Mining, an affiliate of Silver Bay Power.

Residential and Commercial Customers. In 2023, residential and commercial customers represented 19 percent of total regulated utility kWh sales.

Municipal Customers. In 2023, municipal customers represented 4 percent of total regulated utility kWh sales.

Minnesota Power’s wholesale electric contracts with 14 non-affiliated municipal customers in Minnesota have termination dates ranging from 2029 through 2037, with a majority of contracts expiring in 2029. One of these wholesale contracts includes a termination clause requiring a 3-year notice to terminate. (See Note 4. Regulatory Matters.)

Other Power Suppliers. The Company also enters into off-system sales with Other Power Suppliers. These sales are at market based prices into the MISO market on a daily basis or through bilateral agreements of various durations.

Our PSAs are detailed in Note 9. Commitments, Guarantees and Contingencies, with additional disclosure provided in the following paragraphs.

Minnkota Power PSA. Minnesota Power has a PSA with Minnkota Power where Minnesota Power is selling a portion of its entitlement from Square Butte to Minnkota Power, resulting in Minnkota Power’s net entitlement increasing and Minnesota Power’s net entitlement decreasing until Minnesota Power’s share is eliminated at the end of 2025. Of Minnesota Power’s 50 percent output entitlement, it sold approximately 37 percent to Minnkota Power in 2023 (32 percent in 2022 and 28 percent in 2021). Minnkota Power’s net entitlement increases to approximately 41 percent in 2024, 46 percent in 2025 and 50 percent in 2026. (See Power Supply – Long-Term Purchased Power.)

Hibbing Public Utilities. In April 2022, Minnesota Power entered into a long-term Power Purchase and Market Energy Service Agreement with Hibbing Public Utilities for the period of June 1, 2022, through May 31, 2027. The agreement replaced the previous wholesale electric contract between Hibbing Public Utilities and Minnesota Power.

Seasonality

The operations of our industrial customers, which make up a large portion of our electric sales, are not typically subject to significant seasonal variations. (See Electric Sales / Customers.) As a result, Minnesota Power is generally not subject to significant seasonal fluctuations in electric sales; however, Minnesota Power and SWL&P electric and natural gas sales to other customers may be affected by seasonal differences in weather. In general, peak electric sales occur in the winter and summer months with fewer electric sales in the spring and fall months. Peak sales of natural gas generally occur in the winter months. Additionally, our regulated utilities have historically generated fewer sales and less revenue when weather conditions are milder in the winter and summer.

Power Supply

In order to meet its customers’ electric requirements, Minnesota Power utilizes a mix of its own generation and purchased power. Since 2020, approximately 50 percent of Minnesota Power’s power supply for its retail and municipal customers in Minnesota has been provided by renewable energy sources. This was enabled by the completion of the 250 MW Nobles 2 wind energy facility in December 2020 and the GNTL in June 2020, which is used to deliver 250 MW of hydroelectric energy from Manitoba Hydro. Minnesota Power’s remaining operating coal-fired facilities are Boswell Units 3 and 4, which Minnesota Power plans to cease coal operations at by 2030 and 2035, respectively. (See Regulatory Matters.) Renewable energy percentages may vary year to year based on weather, system demand and transmission constraints.

The following table reflects Minnesota Power’s generating capabilities as of December 31, 2023, and total electrical supply for 2023. Minnesota Power had an annual net peak load of 1,551 MW on August 3, 2023.

ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
13




REGULATED OPERATIONS (Continued)
Power Supply (Continued)
Year Ended
UnitYearNetDecember 31, 2023
Regulated Utility Power SupplyNo.InstalledCapabilityGeneration and Purchases
   MWMWh%
Coal-Fired
Boswell Energy Center (a)
31973352
in Cohasset, MN41980468(b)
 8204,458,923 33.8 
Total Coal-Fired8204,458,923 33.8 
Biomass Co-Fired / Natural Gas
Hibbard Renewable Energy Center in Duluth, MN3 & 41949, 195160 68,189 0.5 
Laskin Energy Center in Hoyt Lakes, MN1 & 2195398 110,290 0.8 
Total Biomass Co-Fired / Natural Gas158 178,479 1.3 
Hydro (c)
Group consisting of ten stations in MNMultipleMultiple120 434,133 3.3 
Wind (d)
Taconite Ridge Energy Center in Mtn. Iron, MNMultiple200825 47,361 0.4 
Bison Wind Energy Center in Oliver and Morton Counties, NDMultiple2010-2014497 1,269,120 9.6 
Total Wind522 1,316,481 10.0 
Solar (e)
Group consisting of two solar arrays in MNMultipleMultiple10 15,844 0.1 
Total Generation1,630 6,403,860 48.5 
Long-Term Purchased Power
Lignite Coal - Square Butte near Center, ND (f)
1,377,198 10.4 
Wind - Oliver Wind I and II in Oliver County, ND357,541 2.7 
Wind - Nobles 2 in Nobles County, MN (g)
953,506 7.2 
Hydro - Manitoba Hydro in Manitoba, Canada1,460,000 11.1 
Solar - Purchases from five solar arrays in MN28,227 0.2 
Total Long-Term Purchased Power4,176,472 31.6 
Other Purchased Power (h)
2,625,816 19.9 
Total Purchased Power
6,802,288 51.5 
Total Regulated Utility Power Supply
13,206,148 100.0 
(a) Minnesota Power anticipates ceasing coal operations at Boswell Units 3 and 4 by 2030 and 2035, respectively. (See Regulatory Matters.)
(b)Boswell Unit 4 net capability shown above reflects Minnesota Power’s ownership percentage of 80 percent. WPPI Energy owns 20 percent of Boswell Unit 4. (See Note 3. Jointly-Owned Facilities and Assets.)
(c)Hydro consists of 10 stations with 34 generating units.
(d)Taconite Ridge consists of 10 WTGs and Bison consists of 165 WTGs.
(e)Solar includes the 10 MW Camp Ripley Solar Array near Little Falls, MN, and a 40 kW community solar garden in Duluth, MN.
(f)Minnesota Power has a PSA with Minnkota Power whereby Minnesota Power is selling a portion of its entitlement from Square Butte to Minnkota Power. (See Electric Sales / CustomersMinnkota Power PSA.)
(g)See Item 1. Business – Corporate and Other – Investment in Nobles 2.
(h)Includes short-term market purchases in the MISO market and from Other Power Suppliers.

ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
14




REGULATED OPERATIONS (Continued)
Power Supply (Continued)

Fuel. Minnesota Power purchases low-sulfur, sub-bituminous coal from the Powder River Basin region located in Montana and Wyoming. Coal consumption in 2023 for electric generation at Minnesota Power’s coal-fired generating stations was 2.7 million tons (2.7 million tons in 2022; 2.7 million tons in 2021). As of December 31, 2023, Minnesota Power had coal inventories of 0.7 million tons (0.8 million tons as of December 31, 2022). Minnesota Power has coal supply agreements providing for the purchase of a significant portion of its coal requirements through December 2025. In 2024, Minnesota Power expects to obtain coal under these coal supply agreements and in the spot market. Minnesota Power continues to explore other future coal supply options and believes that adequate supplies of low-sulfur, sub-bituminous coal will continue to be available.

Minnesota Power also has coal transportation agreements in place for the delivery of a significant portion of its coal requirements through December 2024. The costs of fuel and related transportation costs for Minnesota Power’s generation are recoverable from Minnesota Power’s utility customers through the fuel adjustment clause.

Coal Delivered to Minnesota Power
Year Ended December 31202320222021
Average Price per Ton$41.23 $39.98 $39.51 
Average Price per MBtu$2.30 $2.25 $2.18 

Long-Term Purchased Power. Minnesota Power has contracts to purchase capacity and energy from various entities, including output from certain coal, wind, hydro and solar generating facilities.

Our PPAs are detailed in Note 9. Commitments, Guarantees and Contingencies, with additional disclosure provided in the following paragraph.

Square Butte PPA. Under the PPA with Square Butte that extends through 2026, Minnesota Power is entitled to 50 percent of the output of Square Butte’s 455 MW coal-fired generating unit. (See Note 9. Commitments, Guarantees and Contingencies.) BNI Energy mines and sells lignite coal to Square Butte. This lignite supply is sufficient to provide fuel for the anticipated useful life of the generating unit. Square Butte’s cost of lignite consumed in 2023 was approximately $2.36 per MBtu ($2.05 per MBtu in 2022; $1.94 per MBtu in 2021). (See Electric Sales / CustomersMinnkota Power PSA.)

Manitoba Hydro. Minnesota Power has two long-term PPAs with Manitoba Hydro. The first PPA provides for Minnesota Power to purchase 250 MW of capacity and energy from Manitoba Hydro through May 2035. The second PPA provides for Minnesota Power to purchase up to 133 MW of energy from Manitoba Hydro through June 2040. A third PPA, which expired in April 2022 was an energy-only agreement, which primarily consisted of surplus hydro energy on Manitoba Hydro’s system that was delivered to Minnesota Power on a non-firm basis.

Wind Energy. Minnesota Power has a long-term PPA with Nobles 2 that provides for Minnesota Power to purchase the energy and associated capacity from a 250 MW wind energy facility in southwestern Minnesota through 2040. The agreement provides for the purchase of output from the facility at fixed energy prices. There are no fixed capacity charges, and Minnesota Power will only pay for energy as it is delivered. (See Corporate and Other – Investment in Nobles 2.) Minnesota Power also has two long-term wind energy PPAs with an affiliate of NextEra Energy, Inc. to purchase the output from Oliver Wind I (50 MW) and Oliver Wind II (48 MW) located in North Dakota.

Solar Energy. Minnesota Power purchases solar energy from approximately 20 MW of solar energy facilities located in Minnesota that are owned by an ALLETE subsidiary, and a 1 MW community solar garden in northeastern Minnesota, which is owned and operated by a third party.

ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
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REGULATED OPERATIONS (Continued)

Transmission and Distribution

We have electric transmission and distribution lines of 500 kV (232 miles), 345 kV (241 miles), 250 kV (466 miles), 230 kV (715 miles), 161 kV (43 miles), 115 kV (1,380 miles) and less than 115 kV (6,415 miles). We own and operate 162 substations with a total capacity of 9,980 megavolt-amperes. Some of our transmission and distribution lines interconnect with other utilities, and we own some of our transmission lines jointly with other utilities. (See Note 3. Jointly-Owned Facilities and Assets and Outlook – Regulated Operations – Transmission.)

Great Northern Transmission Line. As a condition of the 250 MW long-term PPA entered into with Manitoba Hydro, construction of additional transmission capacity was required. As a result, Minnesota Power constructed the GNTL, an approximately 220‑mile 500-kV transmission line between Manitoba and Minnesota’s Iron Range that was proposed by Minnesota Power and Manitoba Hydro in order to strengthen the electric grid, enhance regional reliability and promote a greater exchange of sustainable energy. In June 2020, Minnesota Power placed the GNTL into service with project costs of approximately $310 million incurred by Minnesota Power. Total project costs, including those costs contributed by a subsidiary of Manitoba Hydro, totaled approximately $660 million. The 250 MW PPA with Manitoba Hydro commenced when the GNTL was placed into service.

Investment in ATC

Our wholly-owned subsidiary, ALLETE Transmission Holdings, owns approximately 8 percent of ATC, a Wisconsin-based utility that owns and maintains electric transmission assets in portions of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. We account for our investment in ATC under the equity method of accounting. As of December 31, 2023, our equity investment in ATC was $179.7 million ($165.4 million as of December 31, 2022). (See Note 6. Equity Investments.)

ATC’s authorized return on equity is 10.02 percent, or 10.52 percent including an incentive adder for participation in a regional transmission organization, based on a 2020 FERC order which is subject to various outstanding legal challenges related to the return on equity calculation and refund period ordered by the FERC. On August 9, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated and remanded the 2020 FERC order back to the FERC. As a result of this decision, ATC recorded a reserve in the third quarter of 2022 for anticipated refunds to its customers for approximately $31 million of which our share was approximately $2.4 million pre-tax. We cannot predict the return on equity the FERC will ultimately authorize in the remanded proceeding.

In addition, the FERC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in April 2021 to limit the 50 basis point incentive adder for participation in a regional transmission organization to only the first three years of membership in such an organization. If this proposal is adopted, our equity in earnings from ATC would be reduced by approximately $1 million pre-tax annually.

ATC’s most recent 10-year transmission assessment, which covers the years 2023 through 2032, identifies a need for between $6.6 billion and $8.1 billion in transmission system investments. These investments by ATC, if undertaken, are expected to be funded through a combination of internally generated cash, debt and investor contributions. As opportunities arise, we plan to make additional investments in ATC through general capital calls based upon our pro rata ownership interest in ATC.

Properties

Our Regulated Operations businesses own office and service buildings, an energy control center, repair shops, electric plants, transmission and distribution facilities and storerooms in various localities in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota. All of the electric plants are subject to mortgages, which collateralize the outstanding first mortgage bonds of Minnesota Power and SWL&P. Most of the generating plants and substations are located on real property owned by Minnesota Power or SWL&P, subject to the lien of a mortgage, whereas most of the transmission and distribution lines are located on real property owned by others with appropriate easement rights or necessary permits from governmental authorities. WPPI Energy owns 20 percent of Boswell Unit 4. WPPI Energy has the right to use our transmission line facilities to transport its share of Boswell generation. (See Note 3. Jointly-Owned Facilities and Assets.)

ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
16




REGULATED OPERATIONS (Continued)

Regulatory Matters

We are subject to the jurisdiction of various regulatory authorities and other organizations. Regulatory matters and proceedings are detailed in Note 4. Regulatory Matters, with a summary included in the following paragraphs.

Electric Rates. All rates and contract terms in our Regulated Operations are subject to approval by applicable regulatory authorities. Minnesota Power and SWL&P design their retail electric service rates based on cost of service studies under which allocations are made to the various classes of customers as approved by the MPUC or the PSCW. Nearly all retail sales include billing adjustment clauses, which may adjust electric service rates for changes in the cost of fuel and purchased energy, recovery of current and deferred conservation improvement program expenditures and recovery of certain transmission, renewable and environmental investments.

Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The MPUC has regulatory authority over Minnesota Power’s retail service area in Minnesota, retail rates, retail services, capital structure, issuance of securities and other matters. Minnesota Power’s retail base rates through 2021 were based on a 2018 MPUC retail rate order that allowed for a 9.25 percent return on common equity and a 53.81 percent equity ratio. Interim rates were implemented in Minnesota Power’s 2022 general rate case beginning in January 2022, and the resolution of Minnesota Power’s 2022 general rate case changed the allowed return on equity to 9.65 percent and the equity ratio to 52.50 percent beginning October 1, 2023. (See 2022 Minnesota General Rate Case.) As authorized by the MPUC, Minnesota Power also recognizes revenue under cost recovery riders for transmission and renewable investments.

2024 Minnesota General Rate Case. On November 1, 2023, Minnesota Power filed a retail rate increase request with the MPUC seeking an average increase of approximately 12.00 percent for retail customers, net of rider revenue incorporated into base rates. The rate filing seeks a return on equity of 10.30 percent and a 53.00 percent equity ratio. On an annualized basis, the requested final rate increase would generate approximately $89 million in additional revenue. On December 7, 2023, the MPUC accepted the filing as complete and approved an annual interim rate increase of approximately $64 million, net of rider revenue, incorporated into base rates starting January 1, 2024, subject to refund. We cannot predict the level of final rates that may be authorized by the MPUC.

2022 Minnesota General Rate Case. On November 1, 2021, Minnesota Power filed a retail rate increase request with the MPUC seeking an average increase of approximately 18 percent for retail customers. The rate filing sought a return on equity of 10.25 percent and a 53.81 percent equity ratio. On an annualized basis, the requested final rate increase would have generated approximately $108 million in additional revenue.

In an order dated February 28, 2023, the MPUC made determinations regarding Minnesota Power’s general rate case including allowing a return on common equity of 9.65 percent and a 52.50 percent equity ratio. We expect additional revenue from base rates of approximately $60 million and an additional $10 million in revenue recognized under cost recovery riders on an annualized basis. On March 20, 2023, Minnesota Power filed a petition for reconsideration with the MPUC requesting reconsideration and clarification of certain decisions in the MPUC’s order. Minnesota Power’s petition included requesting reconsideration of the ratemaking treatment of Taconite Harbor and Minnesota Power’s prepaid pension asset as well as clarification on interim rate treatment for sales to certain customers that did not operate during 2022. The MPUC denied the requests for reconsideration in an order dated May 15, 2023, and provided clarification in support of the interim rate refund treatment for sales to certain customers that did not operate during 2022.

On June 14, 2023, Minnesota Power appealed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals (Court) specific aspects of the MPUC’s rate case orders. Minnesota Power is appealing the ratemaking treatment of Taconite Harbor and Minnesota Power’s prepaid pension asset. We are unable to predict the outcome of this proceeding.

In an order dated September 29, 2023, the MPUC approved Minnesota Power’s final rates, which were implemented beginning on October 1, 2023. The MPUC order also approved Minnesota Power’s interim rate refund plan. Interim rates were collected through the third quarter of 2023 with reserves recorded as necessary. Minnesota Power recorded a reserve for an interim rate refund of approximately $39 million pre-tax as of September 30, 2023 (approximately $18 million as of December 31, 2022). The reserve was refunded to customers during the fourth quarter of 2023.



ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
17




REGULATED OPERATIONS (Continued)
Regulatory Matters (Continued)

Minnesota Power Land Sales. In August 2020, Minnesota Power filed a petition with the MPUC for approval to sell land that surrounds several reservoirs on its hydroelectric system and is no longer required to maintain its operations. The land had an estimated value of approximately $100 million, and Minnesota Power proposed to credit ratepayers the net proceeds from the sales in a future rate case or through its renewable resources rider to mitigate future rate increases. In an order dated November 18, 2021, the MPUC authorized the land sales and directed the net proceeds to be refunded to ratepayers subject to certain conditions and required compliance filings. As of December 31, 2023, we have a regulatory liability recorded of $30.2 million related to these sales.

2021 Integrated Resource Plan. On February 1, 2021, Minnesota Power filed its latest IRP, which was approved by the MPUC in an order dated January 9, 2023. The approved IRP, which reflects a joint agreement reached with various stakeholders, outlines Minnesota Power’s clean-energy transition plans through 2035. These plans include expanding its renewable energy supply, achieving coal-free operations at its facilities by 2035, and investing in a resilient and flexible transmission and distribution grid. As part of these plans, Minnesota Power anticipates adding up to 700 MW of new wind and solar energy resources, and ceasing coal operations at Boswell Units 3 and 4 by 2030 and 2035, respectively. Minnesota Power’s plans recognize that advances in technology will play a significant role in completing its transition to carbon-free energy supply, reliably and affordably. Minnesota Power is expected to file its next IRP by March 1, 2025.

Minnesota Power has a vision to deliver 100 percent carbon-free energy to customers by 2050, continuing its commitment to climate, customers and communities through its EnergyForward strategy. This vision builds on Minnesota Power’s achievement, in 2020, of now providing 50 percent renewable energy to its customers.

Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. The PSCW has regulatory authority over SWL&P’s retail sales of electricity, natural gas and water, issuances of securities and other matters. The resolution of SWL&P’s 2022 general rate case changed the allowed return on equity to 10.00 percent and maintained an equity ratio of 55.00 percent beginning January 1, 2023. (See 2022 Wisconsin General Rate Case.) SWL&P’s retail rates through 2022 were based on a December 2018 order by the PSCW that allowed for a return on equity of 10.40 percent and a 55.00 percent equity ratio.

2022 Wisconsin General Rate Case. In 2022, SWL&P filed a rate increase request with the PSCW seeking an average increase of 3.60 percent for retail customers. The filing sought an overall return on equity of 10.40 percent and a 55.00 percent equity ratio. On an annualized basis, the requested final rate increase would have generated an estimated $4.3 million in additional revenue. In an order dated December 20, 2022, the PSCW approved an annual increase of $3.3 million reflecting a return on equity of 10.00 percent and 55.00 percent equity ratio. Final rates went into effect January 1, 2023.

North Dakota Public Service Commission. The NDPSC has jurisdiction over site and route permitting of generation and transmission facilities in North Dakota.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The FERC has jurisdiction over the licensing of hydroelectric projects, the establishment of rates and charges for transmission of electricity in interstate commerce, electricity sold at wholesale (including the rates for Minnesota Power’s municipal and wholesale customers), natural gas transportation, certain accounting and recordkeeping practices, certain activities of our regulated utilities and the operations of ATC. FERC jurisdiction also includes enforcement of NERC mandatory electric reliability standards. Violations of FERC rules are subject to enforcement action by the FERC including financial penalties up to $1 million per day per violation.

Regional Organizations

Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. Minnesota Power, SWL&P and ATC are members of MISO, a regional transmission organization. While Minnesota Power and SWL&P retain ownership of their respective transmission assets, their transmission networks are under the regional operational control of MISO. Minnesota Power and SWL&P take and provide transmission service under the MISO open access transmission tariff. In cooperation with stakeholders, MISO manages the delivery of electric power across 15 states and the Canadian province of Manitoba.

North American Electric Reliability Corporation. The NERC has been certified by the FERC as the national electric reliability organization. The NERC ensures the reliability of the North American bulk power system. The NERC oversees six regional entities that establish requirements, approved by the FERC, for reliable operation and maintenance of power generation facilities and transmission systems. Minnesota Power is subject to these reliability requirements and can incur significant penalties for noncompliance.
ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
18




REGULATED OPERATIONS (Continued)
Regional Organizations (Continued)

Midwest Reliability Organization (MRO). Minnesota Power and ATC are members of the MRO, one of the six regional entities overseen by the NERC. The MRO's primary responsibilities are to: ensure compliance with mandatory reliability standards by entities which own, operate or use the interconnected, international bulk power system; conduct assessments of the grid's ability to meet electricity demand in the region; and analyze regional system events. The MRO region spans the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and all or parts of 16 states.

Minnesota Legislation

Renewable and Carbon-Free Energy Requirements. On February 7, 2023, the Minnesota Governor signed into law legislation that updates the state’s renewable energy standard and requires Minnesota electric utilities to source retail sales with 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2040. The law increases the renewable energy standard from 25 percent renewable by 2025 to 55 percent renewable by 2035, and requires investor-owned Minnesota utilities to provide 80 percent carbon-free energy by 2030, 90 percent carbon-free energy by 2035 and 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2040. The law utilizes renewable energy credits as the means to demonstrate compliance with both the carbon-free and renewable energy standards, includes an off ramp provision that enables the MPUC to protect reliability and customer costs through modification or delay of either the renewable energy standard, the carbon-free standard, or both, and streamlines development and construction of wind energy projects and transmission in Minnesota. The Company is evaluating the law to identify challenges and opportunities it could present. Minnesota Power is also working with various stakeholders and participating in the regulatory process to implement this legislation.

Since 2020, approximately 50 percent of Minnesota Power’s power supply for its retail and municipal customers in Minnesota has been provided by renewable energy sources. Minnesota Power’s plans include expanding its renewable energy supply to 70 percent renewable energy by 2030. Minnesota Power has also set a target to achieve an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2035 compared to 2005 levels. (See Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Outlook – EnergyForward.)

Minnesota Solar Energy Standard. Minnesota law requires at least 1.5 percent of total retail electric sales, excluding sales to certain customers, to be generated by solar energy. At least 10 percent of the 1.5 percent mandate must be met by solar energy generated by or procured from solar photovoltaic devices with a nameplate capacity of 40 kW or less and community solar garden subscriptions. Minnesota Power has met both parts of the solar mandate to date.

Competition

Retail electric energy sales in Minnesota and Wisconsin are made to customers in assigned service territories. As a result, most retail electric customers in Minnesota do not have the ability to choose their electric supplier. Large energy users of 2 MW and above that are located outside of a municipality are allowed to choose a supplier upon MPUC approval. Minnesota Power served eight Large Power Customers under contracts of at least 10 MW in 2023, none of which have engaged in a competitive rate process. (See Electric Sales / Customers.) No other large commercial or small industrial customers in Minnesota Power’s service territory have sought a provider outside Minnesota Power’s service territory. Retail electric and natural gas customers in Wisconsin do not have the ability to choose their energy supplier. In both states, however, electricity may compete with other forms of energy. Customers may also choose to generate their own electricity, or substitute other forms of energy for their manufacturing processes.

In 2023, 4 percent of total regulated utility kWh sales were to municipal customers in Minnesota. These customers have the right to seek an energy supply from any wholesale electric service provider upon contract expiration. Minnesota Power’s wholesale electric contract with the Nashwauk Public Utilities Commission is effective through 2037. Minnesota Power’s wholesale electric contracts with 13 other non-affiliated municipal customers are effective through 2029. (See Electric Sales / Customers.)

The FERC has continued with its efforts to promote a competitive wholesale market through open-access electric transmission and other means. As a result, our electric sales to Other Power Suppliers and our purchases to supply our retail and wholesale load are made in a competitive market.


ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
19




REGULATED OPERATIONS (Continued)

Franchises

Minnesota Power holds franchises to construct and maintain an electric distribution and transmission system in 95 cities. The remaining cities, villages and towns served by Minnesota Power do not require a franchise to operate. SWL&P serves customers under electric, natural gas or water franchises in 1 city and 14 villages and towns.

ALLETE CLEAN ENERGY

ALLETE Clean Energy focuses on developing, acquiring, and operating clean and renewable energy projects. ALLETE Clean Energy currently owns and operates, in seven states, more than 1,200 MW of nameplate capacity wind energy generation with a majority contracted under PSAs of various durations. In addition, ALLETE Clean Energy engages in the development of wind energy facilities to operate under long-term PSAs or for sale to others upon completion. (See Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Outlook – ALLETE Clean Energy.)

ALLETE Clean Energy believes the market for renewable energy in North America is robust, driven by several factors including environmental regulation, tax incentives such as the extension of production tax credit and investment tax credits, societal expectations and continual technology advances. State renewable portfolio standards, state or federal regulations to limit GHG emissions and the extension of production tax credit and investment tax credits are examples of environmental regulation or public policy that we believe will drive renewable energy development.

ALLETE Clean Energy’s strategy includes the safe, reliable, optimal and profitable operation of its existing facilities. This includes a strong safety culture, the continuous pursuit of operational efficiencies at existing facilities and cost controls. ALLETE Clean Energy generally acquires facilities in liquid power markets and its strategy includes the exploration of PSA extensions upon expiration of existing contracts, production tax credit requalification of existing facilities or the sale of facilities.

ALLETE Clean Energy manages risk by having a diverse portfolio of assets, which includes PSA expiration, technology and geographic diversity. The current operating portfolio is subject to typical variations in seasonal wind with higher wind resources typically available in the winter months. The majority of its planned maintenance leverages this seasonality and is performed during lower wind periods. ALLETE Clean Energy’s current operating portfolio is as follows:

RegionWind Energy FacilityCapacity MWMWPSA Expiration
EastArmenia Mountain101
PSA 1 50%2031
PSA 250%2024
MidwestLake Benton104100%2028
Storm Lake I108100%2027
Storm Lake II77
Merchant90%n/a
PSA10%2032
Other17100%2028
SouthCaddo303
Merchant27%n/a
PSA 166%2034
PSA 27%2034
Diamond Spring303
PSA 158%2035
PSA 225%2032
PSA 316%2035
WestCondon50 100%2028
Glen Ullin106100%2039
South Peak80100%2035

The majority of ALLETE Clean Energy’s wind operations are located on real property owned by others with easement rights or necessary consents of governmental authorities. One of ALLETE Clean Energy’s wind energy facilities is encumbered by liens against its assets securing financing. ALLETE Clean Energy’s Glen Ullin, South Peak, Diamond Spring and Caddo wind energy facilities are subject to tax equity financing structures. (See Note 1. Operations and Significant Accounting Policies.)
ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
20




CORPORATE AND OTHER

New Energy

In April 2022, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ALLETE acquired 100 percent of the membership interests of New Energy for a purchase price of $165.5 million. New Energy, which is headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, is a renewable energy development company with a primary focus on solar and storage facilities while also offering comprehensive operations, maintenance and asset management services. New Energy is a leading developer of community, commercial and industrial, and small utility-scale renewable energy projects that has completed more than 500 MW in its history, totaling more than $1.2 billion of capital. New Energy currently has a robust project pipeline with greater than 2,000 MW of renewable projects in development across over 20 different states. New Energy is involved in greenfield development as well as acquiring and completing mid-stage and late-stage renewable energy projects. New Energy will continue its current strategy of developing and operating renewable energy projects.

Investment in Nobles 2

Our subsidiary, ALLETE South Wind, owns a 49 percent equity interest in Nobles 2, the entity that owns and operates a 250 MW wind energy facility in southwestern Minnesota pursuant to a 20-year PPA with Minnesota Power. As of December 31, 2023, our equity investment in Nobles 2 was $151.5 million ($157.3 million at December 31, 2022). (See Note 6. Equity Investments.)

South Shore Energy

South Shore Energy, ALLETE’s non-rate regulated, Wisconsin subsidiary, is developing NTEC, an approximately 600 MW proposed combined-cycle natural gas-fired generating facility to be built in Superior, Wisconsin, which will be jointly owned by Dairyland Power Cooperative, Basin and South Shore Energy. Minnesota Power is expected to purchase approximately 20 percent of the facility's output starting in 2028 pursuant to a capacity dedication agreement. Construction of NTEC is subject to obtaining additional permits from local, state and federal authorities. The total project cost is estimated to be approximately $700 million, of which South Shore Energy will be responsible for approximately 20 percent. South Shore Energy’s portion of NTEC project costs incurred through December 31, 2023, is approximately $9 million.

BNI Energy

BNI Energy is a supplier of lignite coal in North Dakota, producing approximately 4 million tons annually and has an estimated 650 million tons of lignite coal reserves. Two electric generating cooperatives, Minnkota Power and Square Butte, consume virtually all of BNI Energy’s production of lignite under cost-plus fixed fee coal supply agreements extending through December 31, 2037. (See Item 1. Business – Regulated Operations – Power Supply – Long-Term Purchased Power and Note 9. Commitments, Guarantees and Contingencies.) The mining process disturbs and reclaims between 200 and 250 acres per year. Laws require that the reclaimed land be at least as productive as it was prior to mining. As of December 31, 2023, BNI Energy’s total reclamation liability is estimated at $82.1 million, which is included in Other Non-Current Liabilities on the Consolidated Balance Sheet at its present value. These costs are included in the cost-plus fixed fee contract, for which an asset reclamation cost receivable was included in Other Non-Current Assets on the Consolidated Balance Sheet. The asset reclamation obligation is guaranteed by surety bonds and a letter of credit. (See Note 9. Commitments, Guarantees and Contingencies.)

ALLETE Properties

ALLETE Properties represents our legacy Florida real estate investment. ALLETE Properties’ major project in Florida is Town Center at Palm Coast, which consists of approximately 200 acres of land as well as various residential units and non-residential square footage. In addition to the Town Center at Palm Coast project, ALLETE Properties has approximately 500 acres of other land available for sale. (See Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Outlook – Corporate and Other – ALLETE Properties.)

Seller Financing. ALLETE Properties occasionally provides seller financing to qualified buyers. As of December 31, 2023, outstanding finance receivables were $2.9 million, net of reserves, with maturities through 2027. These finance receivables accrue interest at market-based rates and are collateralized by the financed properties.


ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
21




CORPORATE AND OTHER (Continued)
ALLETE Properties (Continued)

Regulation. A substantial portion of our development properties in Florida are subject to federal, state and local regulations, and restrictions that may impose significant costs or limitations on our ability to develop the properties. Much of our property is vacant land and some is located in areas where development may affect the natural habitats of various protected wildlife species or in sensitive environmental areas such as wetlands.

Non-Rate Base Generation and Miscellaneous

Corporate and Other also includes other business development and corporate expenditures, unallocated interest expense, a small amount of non-rate base generation, land holdings in Minnesota, and earnings on cash and investments.

As of December 31, 2023, non-rate base generation consists of 29 MW of natural gas and hydro generation at Rapids Energy Center in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, which is primarily dedicated to the needs of one customer, UPM Blandin, and approximately 20 MW of solar energy facilities located in Sylvan, Hoyt Lakes, and Duluth, Minnesota, which sell energy generated to Minnesota Power.


ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS

Our businesses are subject to regulation of environmental matters by various federal, state and local authorities. A number of regulatory changes to the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and various waste management requirements have been promulgated by both the EPA and state authorities over the past several years. Minnesota Power’s facilities are subject to additional requirements under many of these regulations. Minnesota Power is reshaping its generation portfolio, over time, to reduce its reliance on coal, has installed cost-effective emission control technology, and advocates for sound science and policy during rulemaking implementation.

We consider our businesses to be in substantial compliance with currently applicable environmental regulations and believe all necessary permits have been obtained. We anticipate that with many state and federal environmental regulations and requirements finalized, or to be finalized in the near future, potential expenditures for future environmental matters may be material and require significant capital investments. Minnesota Power has evaluated various environmental compliance scenarios using possible outcomes of environmental regulations to project power supply trends and impacts on customers.

We review environmental matters on a quarterly basis. Accruals for environmental matters are recorded when it is probable that a liability has been incurred and the amount of the liability can be reasonably estimated based on current law and existing technologies. Accruals are adjusted as assessment and remediation efforts progress, or as additional technical or legal information becomes available. Accruals for environmental liabilities are included in the Consolidated Balance Sheet at undiscounted amounts and exclude claims for recoveries from insurance or other third parties. Costs related to environmental contamination treatment and cleanup are expensed unless recoverable in rates from customers. (See Note 9. Commitments, Guarantees and Contingencies.)


HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT

The Company’s key human capital management objectives are to attract, recognize and retain high quality talent, align with strategic business objectives and support the Company’s values. To support these objectives, the Company’s programs are designed to develop talent; reward and support employees through competitive compensation programs and benefit plans; enhance the Company’s culture through efforts aimed at making the workplace more engaging, safe and inclusive; and acquire talent and leverage internal opportunities to create a high-performing, diverse workforce. Our management, the ALLETE Board of Directors Executive Compensation and Human Capital Committee, and our Board of Directors as a whole play key roles in reviewing and overseeing our human capital practices.

As of December 31, 2023, ALLETE had 1,560 employees, of which 1,513 were full-time. We also respect employees’ freedom of association and their right to collectively organize. As of December 31, 2023, Minnesota Power and SWL&P have an aggregate of 479 employees covered under collective bargaining agreements, of which most are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 31. The current labor agreements with IBEW Local 31 expire on April 30, 2026, for Minnesota Power and January 31, 2027, for SWL&P. BNI Energy has 129 employees that are members of IBEW Local 1593. The current labor agreement with IBEW Local 1593 expires on March 31, 2026.
ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
22




HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT (Continued)

ALLETE’s Human Rights Policy confirms our commitment to the advancement and protection of human rights, consistent with U.S. human rights laws and the general principles in the International Labour Organization Convention.

Integrity. Integrity is a foundational, shared value at ALLETE, is important to ALLETE’s business and operations, and enables our success. The Company has a written Code of Business Conduct that applies to all of our employees, directors of ALLETE, contractors, vendors, and others who do business with or on behalf of ALLETE.

Health and Safety. The success of our business is fundamentally connected to the well-being of our people. Our journey to zero injury starts with a culture that is open and transparent. We encourage all employees to report injuries, near misses, and good catches, so that we can learn and share with others throughout the Company in an effort to improve safety performance. Leaders have regular safety conversations with employees, where hazard identification and controls are discussed to ensure work is being performed safely. To monitor progress, the Company uses leading and lagging indicators to analyze injury trends, safety participation and other data, such as data from our Company-wide safety perception survey to make better decision on safety practices.

Talent Attraction, Retention and Development. For more than a century, ALLETE has been successful because of our ability to attract and retain high-quality people who demonstrate our shared values. We engage in workforce planning, and succession planning, while building a robust talent pipeline and monitoring turnover.

We recognize and support the growth and development of our employees and offer opportunities to participate in internal and external learning programs. Our internal talent development programs provide employees with the resources they need to develop proficiency in their role, help achieve their career goals and build leadership skills. We are focusing initiatives on programs to expand the diversity of new hires and updating on-the-job trainings—including apprenticeships and scholarships aimed at bridging opportunity gaps—as we recognize the importance of a strong talent pipeline. In addition to role specific training, targeted training also includes respect in the workplace, cyber awareness, safety, integrity and leadership development.

Compensation and Benefits. Our competitive compensation package gives employees flexibility, choices and opportunities. Competitive compensation is important for the Company to attract and retain a qualified workforce to successfully manage our business and achieve our business objectives. We also strive to ensure pay equity among diverse employees performing equal or substantially similar work. Periodically, we review the median pay of our male and female employees as well as employees from diverse backgrounds.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Increasing diversity enriches our workforce culture at ALLETE. Our employees are operating in an increasingly diverse society. In order to be accountable to our employees and stakeholders, we strive to have a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve, promotes inclusivity and is equitable.

At ALLETE, we want to ensure that we have a workplace culture where we treat each other with fairness, dignity and respect. The Company has a respect in the workplace initiative, which includes education as well as ongoing discussions focused on building respectful relationships and managing bias. We continue our efforts in crafting a framework to strengthen ALLETE’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the areas of: workforce, supply chain, communications, customers, and ALLETE as a community citizen. ALLETE continues to take tangible steps toward advancing diversity, equity and inclusion by continuing to raise awareness, furthering intentional external relationships/partnerships, increasing supplier diversity, focus on underrepresented groups through grants/scholarships and other Company and employee giving.

Yellow Ribbon Program. ALLETE and its subsidiaries are dedicated to supporting veterans, military members and their families. An employee effort grew out of that spirit of commitment to veterans and led the state of Minnesota to designate ALLETE/Minnesota Power and ALLETE Clean Energy as Yellow Ribbon Companies. The mission of ALLETE’s Yellow Ribbon Program is to contribute to the Company’s unique culture by proactively recruiting and retaining the best and supporting an environment in which military-connected employees can thrive.


AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION

ALLETE makes its SEC filings, including its annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(e) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, available free of charge on ALLETE’s website, www.allete.com, as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC.
ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
23




INFORMATION ABOUT OUR EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

As of February 20, 2024, these are the executive officers of ALLETE:

Executive OfficersInitial Effective Date
  
Bethany M. Owen, Age 58
Chair, President and Chief Executive OfficerMay 11, 2021
President and Chief Executive Officer February 3, 2020
PresidentJanuary 31, 2019
Senior Vice President and Chief Legal and Administrative OfficerNovember 26, 2016
  
Patrick L. Cutshall, Age 58 
Vice President and Corporate TreasurerDecember 18, 2017
Nicole R. Johnson, Age 49
Vice President and President of ALLETE Clean EnergyAugust 22, 2022
Vice President and Chief Administrative OfficerJune 28, 2019
Steven W. Morris, Age 62 
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial OfficerFebruary 9, 2022
Vice President and Chief Accounting OfficerOctober 28, 2021
Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting OfficerDecember 24, 2016
Joshua J. Skelton, Age 44
Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Minnesota PowerAugust 22, 2022
  
Margaret A. Thickens, Age 57
Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate SecretaryFebruary 13, 2019

All of the executive officers have been employed by us for more than five years in executive or management positions. Prior to election to the position listed above, the following executives held other positions with the Company during the past five years.

Ms. Johnson was Vice President – Human Resources.
Mr. Skelton was Chief Operating Officer of Minnesota Power, Vice President Generation Operations and ALLETE Safety.

There are no family relationships between any of the executive officers. All officers and directors are elected or appointed annually.

The present term of office of the executive officers listed in the preceding table extends to the first meeting of our Board of Directors after the next annual meeting of shareholders. Both meetings are scheduled for May 14, 2024.

ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
24




Item 1A. Risk Factors

The risks and uncertainties discussed below could materially affect our business operations, financial position, results of operations and cash flows, and should be carefully considered by stakeholders. The risks and uncertainties in this section are not the only ones we face; additional risks and uncertainties that we are not presently aware of, or that we currently consider immaterial, may also affect our business operations, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. Accordingly, the risks described below should be carefully considered together with other information set forth in this report and in future reports that we file with the SEC.

Regulated Operations Risks

Our results of operations could be negatively impacted if our taconite, paper and pipeline customers experience an economic downturn, incur work stoppages, fail to compete effectively, experience decreased demand, fail to economically obtain raw materials, fail to renew or obtain necessary permits, or experience a decline in prices for their product.

Minnesota Power’s Large Power Customers (see Item 1. Business – Regulated Operations – Electric Sales / Customers) and Silver Bay Power accounted for 24 percent of our 2023 consolidated operating revenue (29 percent in 2022 and 32 percent in 2021) and 36 percent of Regulated Operations operating revenue (36 percent in 2022 and 37 percent in 2021). Minnesota Power’s taconite customers, which are currently owned by only two entities at the end of 2023, accounted for approximately 21 percent of consolidated operating revenue and 32 percent of Regulated Operations operating revenue in 2023. This concentrated ownership presents customer concentration risk for the Company, and could lead to further capacity consolidation for both steel blast furnaces and related Minnesota iron ore production. These customers are also involved in cyclical industries that by their nature are adversely impacted by economic downturns and are subject to strong competition in the marketplace. The North American paper and pulp industry also faces declining demand due to the impact of electronic substitution for print and changing customer needs. As a result, certain paper and pulp customers have reduced their existing operations or idled facilities in recent years and have pursued or are pursuing product changes in response to declining demand. Additionally, the taconite industry could be impacted by changing technology in the steel industry such as the adoption of electric arc furnaces for steelmaking, which could result in declining demand for taconite and the electricity used during its production.

Minnesota Power also serves two pipeline customers that accounted for 2 percent of our 2023 consolidated operating revenue (2 percent in 2022 and in 2021) and 3 percent of Regulated Operations revenue in 2023 (2 percent in 2022 and 2021). These customers are involved in an industry that is seeing increased environmental pressure for construction of new or expanded pipeline infrastructure for the transportation of fossil fuels. Changes in regulatory rulings or permit proceedings could result in changes to operations of the pipeline network in our service territory.

Accordingly, if our industrial customers experience an economic downturn, incur a work stoppage (including strikes, lock-outs or other events), fail to compete effectively, experience decreased demand, fail to economically obtain raw materials or operate their facilities, fail to renew or obtain necessary permits, or experience a decline in demand or prices for their product, there could be adverse effects on their operations and, consequently, this could have a negative impact on our results of operations as we are unable to remarket at similar prices the energy that would otherwise have been sold to such customers.

We may not be able to successfully implement our strategic objectives of growing load at our utilities if current or potential industrial or municipal customers are unable to successfully implement expansion plans, including the inability to obtain necessary governmental permits and approvals.

As part of our long-term strategy, we pursue new wholesale and retail loads in and around our service territories. Currently, there are several companies in northeastern Minnesota that are in the process of developing natural resource-based projects that represent long-term growth potential and load diversity for our Regulated Operations businesses. These projects may include construction of new facilities and restarts of old facilities, both of which require permitting and approvals to be obtained before the projects can be successfully implemented. If a project does not obtain any necessary governmental (including environmental) permits and approvals or if these customers are unable to successfully implement expansion plans, our long-term strategy and thus our results of operations could be adversely impacted.


ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
25




Item 1A. Risk Factors (Continued)
Regulated Operations Risks (Continued)

Our businesses, investments and customers are subject to an extensive legal and regulatory framework under federal and state laws as well as regulations imposed by other organizations that may have a negative impact on our business and results of operations.

Our businesses, investments and customers are subject to an extensive legal and regulatory framework imposed under federal and state law including regulations administered by the FERC, MPUC, MPCA, PSCW, NDPSC and EPA as well as regulations administered by other organizations including the NERC. These laws and regulations relate to allowed rates of return, capital structure, financings, rate and cost structure, acquisition and disposal of assets and facilities, construction and operation of generation, transmission and distribution facilities (including the ongoing maintenance and reliable operation of such facilities), recovery of purchased power costs and capital investments, approval of integrated resource plans and present or prospective wholesale and retail competition, renewable portfolio standards that require utilities to obtain specified percentages of electric supply from eligible renewable generation sources, among other things. Energy policy initiatives at the state or federal level could increase or accelerate renewable and carbon-free energy standards or incentives for distributed generation, municipal utility ownership, or local initiatives could introduce generation or distribution requirements that could change the current integrated utility model. (See Item 1. Business – Regulated Operations – Minnesota Legislation.) Our transmission systems and electric generation facilities are subject to the NERC mandatory reliability standards, including cybersecurity standards. Compliance with these standards may lead to increased operating costs and capital expenditures which are subject to regulatory approval for recovery. If it was determined that we were not in compliance with these mandatory reliability standards or other statutes, rules and orders, we could incur substantial monetary penalties and other sanctions, which could adversely affect our results of operations.

These laws and regulations significantly influence our operations and may affect our ability to recover costs from our customers. We are required to have numerous permits, licenses, approvals and certificates from the agencies and other organizations that regulate our business. We believe we have obtained the necessary permits, licenses, approvals and certificates for our existing operations and that our business is conducted in accordance with applicable laws; however, we are unable to predict the impact on our operating results from the future regulatory activities of any of these agencies and other organizations. Changes in regulations, timing of approvals, the adoption of new regulations or the expansion of jurisdiction by these agencies and other organizations could have an adverse impact on our business and results of operations. In addition, our ability to manage changing regulations could be impacted by our rights and obligations under joint ownership agreements.

Our ability to obtain rate adjustments to maintain reasonable rates of return depends upon regulatory action under applicable statutes and regulations, and we cannot provide assurance that rate adjustments will be obtained or reasonable authorized rates of return on capital will be earned. Minnesota Power and SWL&P, from time to time, file general rate cases with, or otherwise seek cost recovery authorization from, federal and state regulatory authorities. If Minnesota Power and SWL&P do not receive an adequate amount of rate relief in general rate cases, including if rates are reduced, if increased rates are not approved or recovered on a timely basis, if fuel adjustment clause recoveries or cost recovery for other items are not granted at the requested level, or costs are otherwise unable to be recovered through rates, we may experience an adverse impact on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows. We are unable to predict the impact on our business and results of operations from future legislation or regulatory activities of any of these agencies or organizations.

Our regulated operations present certain environmental risks that could adversely affect our financial position and results of operations, including effects of environmental laws and regulations, physical risks associated with climate change and initiatives designed to reduce the impact of GHG emissions.

We are subject to extensive environmental laws and regulations affecting many aspects of our past, present and future operations, including air quality, water quality and usage, waste management, reclamation, hazardous wastes, avian mortality and natural resources. These laws and regulations, or new laws and regulations that may be passed, can result in increased capital expenditures and increased operating and other costs as a result of compliance, remediation, containment and monitoring obligations, particularly with regard to laws relating to emissions, coal ash and water discharge at generating facilities.

These laws and regulations could restrict the output of some existing facilities, limit the use of some fuels in the production of electricity, require the installation of additional pollution control equipment, require participation in environmental emission allowance trading, and lead to other environmental considerations and costs, which could have an adverse impact on our business, operations and results of operations.


ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
26




Item 1A. Risk Factors (Continued)
Regulated Operations Risks (Continued)

These laws and regulations generally require us to obtain and comply with a wide variety of environmental licenses, permits, inspections and other approvals. Violations of these laws and regulations could expose us to regulatory and legal proceedings, disputes with, and legal challenges by, governmental authorities and private parties, as well as potential significant civil fines criminal penalties and other sanctions.

Existing environmental regulations may be revised and new environmental regulations may be adopted or become applicable to us. Revised or additional regulations which result in increased compliance costs or additional operating restrictions, particularly if those costs are not fully recoverable from customers, could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.

There is significant uncertainty regarding if and when new laws, regulations or administrative policies will be adopted to reduce or limit GHG and the impact any such laws or regulations would have on us. In 2023, our operating coal-fired generating facilities consisted of the 352 MW Boswell Unit 3 and the 468 MW Boswell Unit 4. (See Item 7. Management Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation – Outlook – EnergyForward.) Any future limits on GHG emissions at the federal or state level, or action taken by regulators, before these facilities are retired or become coal-free may require us to incur significant capital expenditures and increases in operating costs, or could result in early closure of coal-fired generating facilities, stranded assets, an impairment of assets, denial of full recovery of decommissioning costs in excess of amounts previously collected, or otherwise adversely affect our results of operations, particularly if resulting expenditures and costs are not fully recoverable from customers.

Our regulated operations may be adversely impacted by the physical and financial risks associated with climate change. See Entity-wide Risks for additional discussion of risks related to GHG and climate change.

We cannot predict the amount or timing of all future expenditures related to environmental matters because of uncertainty as to applicable regulations or requirements. There is also uncertainty in quantifying liabilities under environmental laws that impose joint and several liability on all potentially responsible parties. Violations of certain environmental statutes, rules and regulations could expose ALLETE to third party disputes and potentially significant monetary penalties, as well as other sanctions for noncompliance.

The operation and maintenance of our regulated electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities are subject to operational risks that could adversely affect our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

The operation of generating facilities involves many risks, including start-up operational risks, breakdown or failure of facilities, the dependence on a specific fuel source, inadequate fuel supply, availability of fuel transportation, and the impact of unusual or adverse weather conditions or other natural events, as well as the risk of performance below expected levels of output or efficiency. A significant portion of our facilities contain older generating equipment, which, even if maintained in accordance with good engineering practices, may require significant capital expenditures to continue operating at peak efficiency. Generation, transmission and distribution facilities and equipment are also likely to require periodic upgrades and improvements due to changing environmental standards and technological advances. Our ability to manage and operate certain facilities could also be impacted by our rights and obligations under the joint ownership agreements. We could be subject to costs associated with any unexpected failure to produce or deliver power, including failure caused by breakdown, forced outage or limited availability of fuel or fuel transportation, as well as the repair of damage to facilities due to breakdown, storms, natural disasters, wars, sabotage, terrorist acts and other catastrophic events. This could also lead to requiring additional purchased power to meet requirements of serving our retail load, which for Minnesota Power is subject to recovery under the fuel adjustment clause. Should these costs be denied or are otherwise unable to be recovered, our financial position, results of operations and cash flows could be adversely impacted.

Our ability to successfully and timely complete capital repairs or improvements to existing regulated facilities or in the development of new electric generation and transmission facilities or other capital projects is contingent upon many variables.

We expect to incur significant capital expenditures in making capital repairs or improvements to our existing electric generation and transmission facilities and in the development and construction of new electric generation and transmission facilities. Should any such efforts be unsuccessful, not completed in a timely manner, if we are unable to obtain the necessary permits, land rights and regulatory approvals, or if there are increases in the costs for or limited availability of key materials, supplies, labor and services, we could be subject to additional costs or impairments, and projects may be delayed or canceled which could have an adverse impact on our financial position, results of operation and cash flows.
ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
27




Item 1A. Risk Factors (Continued)
Regulated Operations Risks (Continued)

Our regulated electric operations may not have access to adequate and reliable transmission and distribution facilities necessary to deliver electricity to our customers.

We depend on our own transmission and distribution facilities, as well as facilities owned by other utilities, to deliver the electricity sold to our customers, and to other energy suppliers. If transmission capacity is inadequate or transmission and distribution facilities we rely on are damaged, our ability to sell and deliver electricity may be limited. We may have to forgo sales or may have to buy more expensive wholesale electricity that is available in a capacity-constrained area. The ability to restore adequate capacity or repair damaged infrastructure may be impacted by the availability of key materials, supplies, labor and services, which if unavailable may prolong the impact of capacity constraints or damaged facilities. In addition, any infrastructure failure or damage that interrupts or impairs delivery of electricity to our customers could negatively impact the satisfaction of our customers, which could have an adverse impact on our business and results of operations.

The price of electricity may be volatile and fuel may be volatile and availability may be limited.

Volatility in market prices for electricity and volatility and limited availability of fuel could adversely impact our financial position and results of operations and may result from:

severe or unexpected weather conditions and natural disasters;
seasonality;
changes in electricity usage;
transmission or transportation constraints, inoperability or inefficiencies;
availability of competitively priced alternative energy sources;
changes in supply and demand for energy;
changes in power production capacity;
outages at our generating facilities or those of our competitors;
availability of fuel and transportation of fuel;
changes in production and storage levels of natural gas, lignite, coal, crude oil and refined products;
wars, sabotage, terrorist acts, cybersecurity attacks or other catastrophic events; and
federal, state, local and foreign energy, environmental, or other regulation and legislation.

Volatility in market prices for our fuel and purchase power costs impacts our sales to retail, municipal and Other Power Suppliers. Fluctuations in our fuel and purchased power costs related to our retail and municipal customers are passed on to customers through the fuel adjustment clause; however, our results of operations and cash flows may be adversely impacted if increased fuel adjustment clause rates are not approved or recovered on a timely basis, if cost recovery is not granted at the requested level, or costs are otherwise unable to be recovered through the fuel adjustment clause.

Wholesale prices for electricity have also declined in recent years primarily due to the extension of renewable tax credits and additional renewable generation commencing operations. If there are reductions in demand from current customers, we lose retail customers, or we lose municipal customers that do not renew existing contracts, we will market any available power to Other Power Suppliers in an effort to mitigate any earnings impact. Sales to Other Power Suppliers are sold at market-based prices into the MISO market on a daily basis or through bilateral agreements of various durations. Due to wholesale prices for electricity being below our rates for retail and municipal customers, we do not expect that our power marketing efforts would fully offset the reduction in earnings resulting from the lower demand from existing customers or the loss of customers. (See Item 1. Business – Regulated Operations – Electric Sales / Customers.)






ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
28




Item 1A. Risk Factors (Continued)
Regulated Operations Risks (Continued)

Demand for energy may decrease.

Our results of operations are impacted by the demand for energy in our service territories, our municipal customers and other power suppliers. There could be lower demand for energy due to a loss of customers as a result of economic conditions, customers constructing or installing their own generation facilities, higher costs and rates charged to customers, eligible municipal and other power suppliers choosing an alternative energy provider, or loss of service territory or franchises. Further, energy conservation and technological advances that increased energy efficiency may temporarily or permanently reduce the demand for energy products. In addition, we are impacted by state and federal regulations requiring mandatory conservation measures, which reduce the demand for energy products. Continuing technology improvements and regulatory developments may make customer and third party-owned generation technologies such as rooftop solar systems, WTGs, microturbines and battery storage systems more cost effective and feasible for certain customers. If customers utilize their own generation, demand for energy from us would decline. There may not be future economic growth opportunities that would enable us to replace the lost energy demand from these customers. Therefore, a decrease in demand for energy could adversely impact our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

ALLETE Clean Energy / Corporate and Other Risks

The inability to successfully manage and grow our businesses could adversely affect our results of operations.

The Company's strategy includes adding customers, new geographies, and growth through acquisitions or project development with long-term PSAs in place for the output or to be sold upon completion. This strategy depends, in part, on the Company’s ability to successfully identify and evaluate acquisition or development opportunities and consummate acquisitions on acceptable terms and obtain all required permits and approvals. The Company may compete with other companies for these acquisition and development opportunities, which may increase the Company’s cost of making acquisitions and the Company may be unsuccessful in pursuing these acquisition opportunities. Other companies may be able to pay more for acquisitions and may be able to identify, evaluate, bid for and purchase a greater number of assets than the Company’s financial or human resources permit. New laws and regulations promoting renewable energy generation may result in increased competition. Our ALLETE Clean Energy business is experiencing return pressures from increased competition, and lower forward price curves, as a growing amount of investment capital is being directed into wind energy generation opportunities. In addition, current and potential new project developments at our businesses can be negatively affected by a lower ALLETE stock price, which may result in such projects not being accretive, or otherwise unable to satisfy our financial objectives criteria to proceed. Additionally, tax law changes may adversely impact the economic characteristics of potential acquisitions or investments. If the Company is unable to execute its strategy of growth through acquisitions, project development for others, or the addition of new customers and geographies, it may impede our long-term objectives and business strategy.

Acquisitions and operations of recently acquired entities are subject to uncertainties. If we are unable to successfully integrate and manage New Energy, or future acquisitions and strategic investments, this could have an adverse impact on our results of operations. Our actual results may also differ from our expectations due to factors such as the ability to obtain timely regulatory or governmental approvals, integration and operational issues and the ability to retain management and other key personnel.

Our results of operations could be adversely affected by changes in governmental incentives or policies that support renewable energy or changes in taxes, tariffs, duties or other assessments on renewable energy or the equipment necessary to generate and deliver it.

Any reductions or modifications to, or the elimination of, governmental incentives or policies that support renewable energy, or the imposition of additional or increased sourcing of components subject to taxes, tariffs, duties or other assessments on renewable energy or the equipment necessary to generate and deliver it, could result in, among other items, the lack of a satisfactory market for the development or financing of new renewable energy projects and reduced project returns on current or future projects.


ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
29




Item 1A. Risk Factors (Continued)
ALLETE Clean Energy / Corporate and Other Risks (Continued)

The U.S. government currently imposes anti-dumping and countervailing duties on certain imported photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules from China and Taiwan. Such duties can change over time pursuant to annual reviews conducted by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC). On August 18, 2023, the U.S. DOC issued a final affirmative determination that imports of certain PV cells and modules assembled and completed in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam are circumventing anti-dumping and countervailing duties. Duties will not be collected on imports before June 2024 as a result of a temporary duty suspension ordered by the U.S. President. Our operating results could be adversely impacted if this U.S. DOC circumvention determination results in duties assessed on future purchases made by our businesses after the current moratorium ends, or if additional anti-dumping and countervailing duties are imposed by the U.S. government on products purchased by our businesses.

The generation of electricity from wind and solar energy facilities depends heavily on suitable meteorological conditions.

Although our electric generation facilities are located in diverse geographic regions to reduce the potential impact that may be caused by unfavorable weather in a particular region, suitable meteorological conditions are variable and difficult to predict. If wind or solar conditions are unfavorable or meteorological conditions are unsuitable, electricity generation and revenue from wind and solar energy facilities may be substantially below our expectations. The electricity produced, production tax credits received, and revenues generated by a wind or solar energy facility are highly dependent on suitable wind conditions and associated weather conditions, which are variable and beyond our control. We base our decisions about which wind and solar projects to build or acquire as well as our electricity generation estimates, in part, on the findings of long-term wind and other meteorological studies conducted on the project site and its region; however, the unpredictable nature of wind and solar conditions, weather and meteorological conditions can result in material deviations from these studies and our expectations. Furthermore, components of our systems could be damaged by severe weather, such as hailstorms, lightning or tornadoes. In addition, replacement and spare parts for key components may be difficult or costly to acquire or may be unavailable. Unfavorable wind and solar conditions, weather or changes to meteorological patterns could impair the effectiveness of our electric generation facility assets, reduce their output beneath their rated capacity or require shutdown of key equipment, impeding operation of our wind energy facilities or lead to an impairment of assets.

The construction, operation and maintenance of our electric generation facilities or investment in facilities are subject to operational risks that could adversely affect our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

The construction and operation of generating facilities involves many risks, including the performance by key contracted suppliers and maintenance providers; increases in the costs for or limited availability of key materials, supplies, labor and services; start-up operations risks; breakdown or failure of facilities; curtailment of facilities by counterparties or due to inadequate transmission capacity; the dependence on the availability of wind resources; or the impact of unusual, adverse weather conditions or other natural events, as well as the risk of performance below expected levels of output or efficiency. Some of our facilities contain older generating equipment, which even if maintained in accordance with good engineering practices, may require significant capital expenditures to continue operating at peak efficiency. We could be subject to costs associated with any unexpected failure to produce and deliver power, including failure caused by breakdown or forced outage, as well as the repair of damage to facilities due to storms, natural disasters, wars, sabotage, terrorist acts and other catastrophic events.

The price of electricity may be volatile, which may impact results of operations at ALLETE Clean Energy wind energy facilities under contracts with commercial and industrial (C&I) customers.

Unusual, adverse weather conditions or other natural events and different settlement prices between hub and node can cause volatility in market prices for electricity and adversely affect our financial position, results of operations and cash flows. ALLETE Clean Energy’s power sales agreements with C&I customers at its Diamond Spring and Caddo wind energy facilities are contracts for differences where power is delivered to the market, a fixed price is paid by the customers to ALLETE Clean Energy, and differences between the market price and the fixed price are paid to or received from the customers. Certain contracts also settle with the market at the hub price whereas ALLETE Clean Energy settles with the customer at the node price which can vary significantly based on multiple factors. These settlement provisions can result in an adverse impact on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows when market prices are volatile, or lead to potential impairment of property, plant and equipment if these conditions persist for an extended period of time.


ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
30




Item 1A. Risk Factors (Continued)
ALLETE Clean Energy / Corporate and Other Risks (Continued)

As contracts with counterparties expire, we may not be able to replace them with agreements on similar terms or divest the related assets at a profit.

ALLETE Clean Energy is party to PSAs that expire in various years between 2024 and 2039. These PSA expirations are prior to the end of the estimated useful lives of the respective wind energy facilities. If, for any reason, ALLETE Clean Energy is unable to enter into new agreements with existing or new counterparties on similar terms once the current agreements expire, sell energy in the wholesale market resulting in similar revenue, or enter into a contract to sell the facility at a profit, our financial position, results of operations and cash flows could be adversely affected, which includes potential impairment of property, plant and equipment.

Counterparties to turbine and other generation supply, service and maintenance, or power sale agreements may not fulfill their obligations.

Our businesses are party to turbine and other generation supply agreements, service and maintenance agreements, and PSAs under various durations with a limited number of creditworthy counterparties. If, for any reason, any of the counterparties under these agreements do not fulfill their related contractual obligations, and we are unable to mitigate non-performance by a key supplier or maintenance provider or remarket PSA energy resulting in similar revenue, our financial position, results of operations and cash flows could be adversely affected.

ALLETE has a significant amount of goodwill. A determination that goodwill has been impaired could result in a significant non-cash charge to earnings.

We had approximately $155 million of goodwill recorded on our Consolidated Balance Sheet as of December 31, 2023, related to New Energy. If we change our business strategy, fail to deliver on our projected results or if market or other conditions adversely affect the operations of New Energy, we may be required to record an impairment charge. Declines in projected operating cash flows at New Energy could also result in an impairment charge. An impairment charge would result in a non-cash charge to earnings that could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.

BNI Energy may be adversely impacted by its exposure to customer concentration, and environmental laws and regulations.

BNI Energy sells lignite coal to two electric generating cooperatives, Minnkota Power and Square Butte, and could be adversely impacted if these customers were unable or unwilling to fulfill their related contractual obligations, or change the way in which they operate their generating facilities. In addition, BNI Energy and its customers may be adversely impacted by existing or new environmental laws and regulations which could have an adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, insurance companies have decreased the available coverage for policy holders in the mining industry, impacting the availability of coverage, and leading to higher deductibles and premiums.

Real estate market conditions where our legacy Florida real estate investment is located may deteriorate.

The Company’s strategy related to the real estate assets of ALLETE Properties incorporates the possibility of a bulk sale of its entire portfolio, in addition to sales over time, however, adverse market conditions could impact the timing of land sales, which could result in little to no sales, while still incurring operating expenses such as community development district assessments and property taxes, resulting in net operating losses at ALLETE Properties. Furthermore, weak market conditions could put the properties at risk for an impairment charge. An impairment charge would result in a non-cash charge to earnings that could have an adverse effect on our results of operations.

Entity-wide Risks

We could be materially adversely affected by health epidemics, pandemics and other outbreaks.

Health epidemics, pandemics and other outbreaks, as well as the related federal and state government responses, can have widespread impacts on the economy and on our employees, customers, contractors and suppliers, such as those experienced from the COVID-19 pandemic. There may be uncertainty regarding the length of time an epidemic, pandemic or other outbreak will last, how they will evolve, or the extent and duration of any measures attempted to try and contain them.

ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
31




Item 1A. Risk Factors (Continued)
Entity-wide Risks (Continued)

A disruption of economic activity or an extended disruption of economic activity may lead to adverse impacts on our taconite, paper, pulp and secondary wood products, and pipeline customers’ operations including reduced production or the temporary idling or indefinite shutdown of facilities, which would result in lower sales and revenue from these customers. A disruption in capital markets could lead to increased borrowing costs or adversely impact our ability to access capital markets or other financing sources, which would adversely affect our ability to maintain our businesses or to implement our business plans. An epidemic, pandemic or other outbreak may also result in a disruption to our supply chains which could adversely impact our operations and capital projects resulting in project and operational delays, project cancellations, lower returns on projects and cost increases.

Despite any efforts made to mitigate the impacts on the Company of an epidemic, pandemic or other outbreak, their ultimate impact also depends on factors beyond our control, including their duration and severity as well as governmental and third-party actions taken to contain their spread and mitigate their public health effects. As a result, we cannot predict the ultimate impact of an epidemic, pandemic or other outbreak, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and whether it will have a material impact on our liquidity, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

We rely on access to financing sources and capital markets. If we do not have access to capital on acceptable terms or are unable to obtain capital when needed, our ability to execute our business plans, make capital expenditures or pursue other strategic actions that we may otherwise rely on for future growth would be adversely affected.

We rely on access to financing sources and the capital markets, on acceptable terms and at reasonable costs, as sources of liquidity for capital requirements not satisfied by our cash flows from operations. Rising interest rates, inflation and market disruptions or a downgrade of our credit ratings may increase the cost of borrowing or adversely affect our ability to access and finance in the capital markets or to access other financing sources such as tax equity financing. Such disruptions or causes of a downgrade could include but are not limited to: weakening of the Company’s cash flow metrics; a loss of, or a reduction in sales to, our taconite, paper and pipeline customers if we are unable to offset the related lost margins; weaker operating performance; adverse regulatory outcomes; disproportionate increase in the contribution to net income from ALLETE Clean Energy and our Corporate and Other businesses as compared to that from our Regulated Operations; deteriorating economic or capital market conditions; or volatility in commodity prices.  

If we are not able to access capital on acceptable terms in sufficient amounts and when needed, or at all, the ability to maintain our businesses or to implement our business plans would be adversely affected. This would include our ability to make the significant capital expenditures planned in order to achieve Minnesota Power’s clean-energy transition plans. (See Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Capital Requirements.)

A deterioration in general economic conditions, an inflationary environment or supply chain disruptions may have adverse impacts on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

If economic conditions deteriorate, we experience an inflationary environment or supply chains are disrupted on a national, regional or global level, it may have a negative impact on our customers and the Company’s financial position, results of operations and cash flows. This impact may include volatility and unpredictability in the demand for the products and services offered by our businesses, the loss of existing customers, tempered growth strategies, customer production cutbacks, customer bankruptcies and increases in costs for or limited availability of key materials, supplies, labor and services for our operations and capital projects. An uncertain economy could also adversely affect expenses including pension costs, interest costs, and uncollectible accounts, or lead to reductions in the value of certain real estate and other investments.

Our utility infrastructure and generating facilities, ongoing and future capital and development projects, and other operations require components, supplies, materials, labor and services sourced from suppliers or providers who, in turn, may source components from their suppliers. A shortage of key components, supplies, materials, labor or services in which an alternative supplier or provider is not identified could significantly impact project plans or our operations. Such impacts could include project delays, including potential for project cancellation, lower project returns, increased costs or the inability to provide service to customers, which could adversely impact our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.


ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
32




Item 1A. Risk Factors (Continued)
Entity-wide Risks (Continued)

Our businesses, investments and customers are subject to extensive state and federal legislation and regulation, compliance with which could have an adverse effect on our businesses.

Our businesses, investments and customers are subject to, and affected by, extensive state and federal legislation and regulation. If it was determined that our businesses failed to comply with applicable laws and regulations, we could become subject to fines or penalties or be required to implement additional compliance measures or actions, the cost of which could be material. If we are unable to obtain all required permits and approvals for our development projects, it could negatively impact our ability to execute on our EnergyForward strategy. Adoption of new laws, rules, regulations, principles, or practices by federal and state agencies, or changes to or a failure to comply with current laws, rules, regulations, principles, or practices and their interpretations, could have an adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

The inability to attract and retain a qualified workforce including, but not limited to, executive officers, key employees and employees with specialized skills, could have an adverse effect on our operations.

The success of our business heavily depends on the leadership of our executive officers and key employees to implement our business strategy. The inability to maintain a qualified workforce, including, but not limited to, executive officers, key employees and employees with specialized skills, may negatively affect our ability to service our existing or new customers, or successfully manage our business or achieve our business objectives. Personnel costs may increase due to competitive pressures, inflation or terms of collective bargaining agreements with union employees.

Market performance and other changes could decrease the value of pension and other postretirement benefit plan assets, which may result in significant additional funding requirements and increased annual expenses.

The performance of the capital markets impacts the values of the assets that are held in trust to satisfy future obligations under our pension and other postretirement benefit plans. We have significant obligations to these plans and the trusts hold significant assets. These assets are subject to market fluctuations and will yield uncertain returns, which may fall below our projected rates of return. A decline in the market value of the pension and other postretirement benefit plan assets would increase the funding requirements under our benefit plans if asset returns do not recover. Additionally, our pension and other postretirement benefit plan liabilities are sensitive to changes in interest rates. As interest rates decrease, the liabilities increase, potentially increasing benefit expense and funding requirements. Our pension and other postretirement benefit plan costs are generally recoverable in our electric rates as allowed by our regulators or through our cost-plus fixed fee coal supply agreements at BNI Energy; however, there is no certainty that regulators will continue to allow recovery of these rising costs in the future.

We are exposed to significant reputational risk.

The Company could suffer negative impacts to its reputation as a result of operational incidents, violations of corporate compliance policies, such as our code of business conduct, by employees, directors of ALLETE, contractors, vendors and others who do business with or on behalf of ALLETE, regulatory violations, operations that produce or enable the production of GHG emissions or other events which may result in negative customer perception, increased regulatory oversight, and negative consequences to our credit ratings and ability to access capital, each of which could have an adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

We are subject to physical and financial risks associated with climate change and other catastrophic events, such as natural disasters and acts of war.

Catastrophic events at or near Company facilities and equipment on which the Company depends upon or that otherwise impact the Company such as fires, wildfires, including the impact to Company facilities and operations or potential liability if caused by Company equipment, earthquakes, explosions, and floods, severe weather, such as ice storms, hailstorms, or tornadoes or similar occurrences, as well as acts of war, could adversely affect the Company’s facilities, operations, financial position, results of operations and cash flows. Although the Company has contingency plans and employs crisis management to respond and recover operations in the event of a severe disruption resulting from a catastrophic event, these measures may not be successful. Furthermore, despite these measures, if a catastrophic event were to occur, our financial position, results of operations and cash flows could be adversely affected.


ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
33




Item 1A. Risk Factors (Continued)
Entity-wide Risks (Continued)

The scientific community generally accepts that emissions of GHG are linked to global climate change. Physical risks of climate change, such as more frequent, longer duration or more extreme weather events, changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, increased risk of wildfires, changes to ground and surface water availability, and other related phenomena, could affect some, or all, of our operations. Severe weather or other natural disasters could be destructive, which could result in increased costs or limit the availability of key materials, supplies, labor and services used in our operations or to respond to damaged facilities. An extreme weather event can also directly affect our capital assets, causing disruption in service to customers due to facility outages, downed wires and poles or damage to other operating equipment.

Climate-related risks that could adversely affect our financial position and results of operations include effects of environmental- or economic-based laws, regulations, incentives or initiatives designed to reduce the quantity or impact of GHG emissions, the ability of our regulated businesses to obtain rate adjustments to recover costs and investments to implement clean-energy transition plans, or disruptions to the economy or energy markets caused by climate change. This includes the risk of laws or regulations that create mandates that do not allow for a transition that protects the safety, reliability or affordability of energy for our customers, are implemented before cost-effective technology is developed and regulatory policy is established, or require the electric sector to decarbonize faster than other sectors and ahead of our current vision to deliver 100 percent carbon-free energy to customers by 2050. Additionally, restrictions on land use, wildlife impacts, and other environmental regulations could affect the siting, construction and operation of new or existing generation and transmission facilities needed to transition to lower-carbon generation sources.

These all have the potential to adversely affect our business and operations.

We are vulnerable to acts of terrorism or cybersecurity attacks.

Our operations may be targets of terrorist activities or cybersecurity attacks, which could disrupt our ability to provide utility service at our regulated utilities, develop or operate our renewable energy projects at ALLETE Clean Energy, or operate our other businesses. The impacts may also impair the fulfillment of critical business functions, negatively impact our reputation, subject us to litigation or increased regulation, or compromise sensitive, confidential and other data.

There have been cybersecurity attacks on U.S. energy infrastructure in the past and there may be such attacks in the future. Our generation, transmission and distribution facilities, information technology systems and other infrastructure facilities and systems could be direct targets of, or otherwise be materially adversely affected by such activities. Hacking, computer viruses, terrorism, theft and sabotage could impact our systems and facilities, or those of third parties on which we rely, which may disrupt our operations.

Our businesses require the continued operation of sophisticated custom-developed, purchased, and leased information technology systems and network infrastructure as well as the collection and retention of personally identifiable information of our customers, shareholders and employees. Although we maintain security measures designed to prevent cybersecurity incidents and protect our information technology and control systems, network infrastructure and other assets, our technology systems, or those of third parties on which we rely, may be vulnerable to disability, failures or unauthorized access due to hacking, viruses, acts of war or terrorism as well as other causes. If those technology systems fail or are breached and not recovered in a timely manner, we may be unable to perform critical business functions including effectively maintaining certain internal controls over financial reporting, our reputation may be negatively impacted, we may become subject to litigation or increased regulation, and sensitive, confidential and other data could be compromised. If our business were impacted by terrorist activities or cybersecurity attacks, such impacts could have an adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

We maintain insurance against some, but not all, of the risks and uncertainties we face.

We maintain insurance against some, but not all, of the risks and uncertainties we face. The occurrence of these risks and uncertainties, if not fully covered by insurance, could have a material effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.


ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
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Item 1A. Risk Factors (Continued)
Entity-wide Risks (Continued)

Government challenges to our tax positions, as well as tax law changes and the inherent difficulty in quantifying potential tax effects of our operations and business decisions, could adversely affect our results of operations and liquidity.

We are required to make judgments regarding the potential tax effects of various financial transactions and our ongoing operations in order to estimate our obligations to taxing authorities. The obligations, which include income taxes and taxes other than income taxes, involve complex matters that ultimately could be litigated. We also estimate our ability to use tax benefits, including those in the form of carryforwards and tax credits that are recorded as deferred tax assets on our Consolidated Balance Sheet. A disallowance of some or all of these tax benefits could have an adverse impact on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

We are currently utilizing, and plan to utilize in the future, our carryforwards and tax credits to reduce our income tax obligations. If we cannot generate enough taxable income in the future to utilize all of our carryforwards and tax credits before they expire, we may incur adverse charges to earnings.

If federal or state tax authorities deny any deductions or tax credits, negatively change existing tax laws or policies, or fail to extend or renew policies beneficial to the Company, such as those for renewable energy production tax credits, our financial position, results of operations and cash flows may be adversely impacted.

Our business, financial position, results of operations, and cash flows could be materially affected by adverse results of litigation.

We are involved in litigation arising in the normal course of business. Unfavorable resolution of legal or administrative proceedings in which we are involved or other future legal or administrative proceedings may have an adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.


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Item 1C. Cybersecurity

ALLETE employs a multilayer approach to addressing cybersecurity risk based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) framework. It has established a dedicated cybersecurity team that utilizes internal and external assessments, automated monitoring tools, and input from public and private partners to identify potential cyber threats. External third party security firms are engaged to assist with cybersecurity risk assessments, penetration testing and system security analysis. ALLETE’s cybersecurity team works in conjunction with the risk management, legal, finance, accounting, operations, and information technology areas to assess the risk these identified cybersecurity threats present to the organization. To ensure consistency, these cybersecurity risk assessments are incorporated into ALLETE’s Enterprise Risk Management process, ALLETE’s information technology leadership reviews the company’s enterprise risk management-level cybersecurity risks on a quarterly basis, and key cybersecurity risks are incorporated into ALLETE’s enterprise risk management framework. Cybersecurity risks are managed and controlled through multiple overlapping layers of cybersecurity defenses that include:

expert input from both public and private partnerships;
the implementation of a comprehensive cybersecurity policy that encompasses but is not limited to social media, acceptable use (devices, wireless, remote access, internet use), information governance, monitoring, authentication, encryption, vulnerability management, third-party management, and recovery;
required annual cybersecurity training for all employees with additional supplemental cybersecurity training required based on role;
random employee phish testing and follow-up;
procedural and automated cyber controls in conjunction with robust detection, mitigation, and recovery capabilities;
the formation of a multidisciplinary cybersecurity incident response team;
the integration of multiple threat intelligence sources into our cybersecurity tools and processes;
the retention of external cybersecurity threat response resources;
the formation of a multidisciplinary cybersecurity incident response team; and
multiple cyber event simulation and tabletop exercises per year to hone the cybersecurity incident response team preparedness.

The ALLETE board of directors provides enterprise-level oversight of risks associated with cybersecurity threats through the Audit Committee, which assists the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities regarding the Company’s policies and processes with respect to risk assessment and risk management, including any significant non-financial risk exposures; reviewing and discussing the Company’s information security policies and internal controls regarding information security; and reviewing the Company’s annual disclosures concerning the role of the Board in the risk oversight of the Company. The Audit Committee performs an annual review of the Company’s cybersecurity program and receives quarterly updates on key cybersecurity risks, the cybersecurity risk management plan, and cyber incident event trends.

ALLETE’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) has primary responsibility for the development and oversight of ALLETE’s cybersecurity team and the development and maintenance of the company’s related cybersecurity policies and procedures. The CTO has over 25 years’ experience working in the information and operational technology field and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Minnesota. The company’s cybersecurity team continuously assesses the evolving cyber threat landscape based on their expertise and that of our third-party partners. They then work with all parts of ALLETE to protect against, detect, identify, respond to, and recover from the risks that cybersecurity threats present. The cybersecurity team views and responds to cybersecurity risks in a holistic manner, applying a comprehensive multilayered strategy to prevent, detect, and mitigate them. They have identified ALLETE’s critical cyber assets and taken appropriate steps to protect them. External expertise is regularly engaged to assess ALLETE’s cybersecurity program and help the cybersecurity team to strengthen the organization’s monitoring, alerting, prevention, mitigation, and recovery capabilities. Tabletop simulations, third party cyber vulnerability assessments, maturity assessments, and partnerships are used to assess and refine all elements of our cybersecurity program.

In addition to managing our own cybersecurity preparedness, we also consider and evaluate cybersecurity risks associated with the use of third-party service providers. Risk assessments are performed against third-party service providers with a specific focus on any sensitive data that is to be shared with them. The internal business owners of ALLETE’s applications are required to document user access reviews regularly. We request a System and Organizational Controls (SOC) 2 report from the vendors of our enterprise cloud applications. If they do not provide us with a SOC 2, we seek additional compensating risk assurance in our contract language with them. Risks associated with the use of third-party service providers are managed as part of our overall cybersecurity risk management framework.


ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
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Item 1C. Cybersecurity (Continued)

To continually manage and control the material risks that cybersecurity threats present to the organization, ALLETE invests significantly in the cybersecurity elements outlined above. In addition, the Company has made significant investments to fulfill the operational and financial regulatory requirements laid out by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation Critical Infrastructure Protection Standards and Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

ALLETE faces a number of cybersecurity risks in connection with its business. Although such risks have not materially affected us, including our business strategy, results of operations, and financial conditions, to date, we have, from time to time, experienced threats to and breaches of our data systems, including malware, phishing and computer virus attacks. See Item 1A. Risk Factors for additional information regarding our organization’s cybersecurity risks, which should be read together with this Item 1C. Cybersecurity.


Item 2. Properties

A discussion of our properties is included in Item 1. Business and is incorporated by reference herein.


Item 3. Legal Proceedings

Discussions of material regulatory and environmental proceedings are included in Note 4. Regulatory Matters and Note 9. Commitments, Guarantees and Contingencies, and are incorporated by reference herein.

We are involved in litigation arising in the normal course of business. Also in the normal course of business, we are involved in tax, regulatory and other governmental audits, inspections, investigations and other proceedings that involve state and federal taxes, safety, and compliance with regulations, rate base and cost of service issues, among other things. We do not expect the outcome of these matters to have a material effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) requires issuers to include in periodic reports filed with the SEC certain information relating to citations or orders for violations of standards under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Safety Act). Information concerning mine safety violations or other regulatory matters required by Section 1503(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act and this Item are included in Exhibit 95 to this Form 10-K.


Part II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Our common stock is listed on the NYSE under the symbol ALE. We have paid dividends, without interruption, on our common stock since 1948. A quarterly dividend of $0.705 per share on our common stock is payable on March 1, 2024, to the shareholders of record on February 15, 2024. The timing and amount of future dividends will depend upon earnings, cash requirements, the financial condition of the Company, applicable government regulations and other factors deemed relevant by the ALLETE Board of Directors. As of February 1, 2024, there were approximately 19,000 common stock shareholders of record.

We do not have a publicly announced stock repurchase program and we did not repurchase any equity securities during the quarter ended December 31, 2023.


ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
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Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities (Continued)

Performance Graph.

The following graph compares ALLETE’s cumulative Total Shareholder Return on its common stock with the cumulative return of the S&P 500 Index and the Philadelphia Utility Index. The S&P 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries. Because this composite index has a broad industry base, its performance may not closely track that of a composite index comprised solely of electric utilities. The Philadelphia Utility Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 20 utility companies involved in the generation of electricity.

The calculations assume a $100 investment on December 31, 2018, and reinvestment of dividends.

1540
201820192020202120222023
ALLETE$100$110$87$97$98$98
S&P 500 Index$100$131$156$200$164$207
Philadelphia Utility Index$100$127$130$154$155$141

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Item 6. [Reserved]


Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and notes to those statements and the other financial information appearing elsewhere in this report. In addition to historical information, the following discussion and other parts of this Form 10-K contain forward-looking information that involves risks and uncertainties. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements should be read in conjunction with our disclosures in this Form 10-K under the headings: “Forward‑Looking Statements” located on page 7 and “Risk Factors” located in Item 1A. The risks and uncertainties described in this Form 10-K are not the only risks facing our Company. Additional risks and uncertainties that we are not presently aware of, or that we currently consider immaterial, may also affect our business operations. Our business, financial condition or results of operations could suffer if the risks are realized.


Overview

Basis of Presentation. We present two reportable segments: Regulated Operations and ALLETE Clean Energy. Our segments were determined in accordance with the guidance on segment reporting. We measure performance of our operations through budgeting and monitoring of contributions to consolidated net income by each business segment.

Regulated Operations includes our regulated utilities, Minnesota Power and SWL&P, as well as our investment in ATC, a Wisconsin-based regulated utility that owns and maintains electric transmission assets in portions of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. Minnesota Power provides regulated utility electric service in northeastern Minnesota to approximately 150,000 retail customers. Minnesota Power also has 14 non-affiliated municipal customers in Minnesota. SWL&P is a Wisconsin utility and a wholesale customer of Minnesota Power. SWL&P provides regulated utility electric, natural gas and water service in northwestern Wisconsin to approximately 15,000 electric customers, 13,000 natural gas customers and 10,000 water customers. Our regulated utility operations include retail and wholesale activities under the jurisdiction of state and federal regulatory authorities. (See Note 4. Regulatory Matters.)

ALLETE Clean Energy focuses on developing, acquiring, and operating clean and renewable energy projects. ALLETE Clean Energy currently owns and operates, in seven states, more than 1,200 MW of nameplate capacity wind energy generation with a majority contracted under PSAs of various durations. In addition, 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.

Corporate and Other is comprised of New Energy, a renewable development company; our investment in Nobles 2, an entity that owns and operates a 250 MW wind energy facility in southwestern Minnesota; South Shore Energy, our non-rate regulated, Wisconsin subsidiary developing NTEC, an approximately 600 MW proposed combined-cycle natural gas-fired generating facility; BNI Energy, our coal mining operations in North Dakota; ALLETE Properties, our legacy Florida real estate investment; other business development and corporate expenditures; unallocated interest expense; a small amount of non-rate base generation; land holdings in Minnesota; and earnings on cash and investments.

ALLETE is incorporated under the laws of Minnesota. Our corporate headquarters are in Duluth, Minnesota. Statistical information is presented as of December 31, 2023, unless otherwise indicated. All subsidiaries are wholly-owned unless otherwise specifically indicated. References in this report to “we,” “us” and “our” are to ALLETE and its subsidiaries, collectively.


ALLETE, Inc. 2023 Form 10-K
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2023 Financial Overview

The following net income discussion summarizes a comparison of the year ended December 31, 2023, to the year ended December 31, 2022.

Net income attributable to ALLETE in 2023 was $247.1 million, or $4.30 per diluted share, compared to $189.3 million, or $3.38 per diluted share, in 2022. Net income in 2023 included a $40.5 million, or $0.71 per share, after-tax gain recognized for a favorable arbitration ruling involving a subsidiary of ALLETE Clean Energy. (See Note 9. Commitments, Guarantees and Contingencies.) This increase was partially offset by the impact of unusually low wind resources at ALLETE Clean Energy and warmer winter weather impacting our Regulated Operations in 2023. Earnings per share dilution in 2023 was $0.11 due to additional shares of common stock outstanding in 2023 compared to 2022.

Regulated Operations net income attributable to ALLETE was $147.2 million in 2023, compared to $149.9 million in 2022. Net income at Minnesota Power was lower than 2022 primarily due to higher operating and maintenance, depreciation and interest expenses, and lower kWh sales to residential and commercial customers in 2023 compared to 2022 due to warmer winter weather. These decreases were partially offset by higher kWh sales to industrial customers in 2023 and lower property tax expense resulting from the favorable impact of an updated estimate for property taxes payable in 2023. Net income at SWL&P was higher than 2022 primarily due to the implementation of new rates from its most recent rate case in 2023. (See Note 4. Regulatory Matters.) Our after-tax equity earnings in ATC were higher than 2022 reflecting period over period changes in ATC’s estimate of a refund liability related to the appeals court decision on MISO return on equity complaints in 2022. (See Note 6. Equity Investments.)

ALLETE Clean Energy net income attributable to ALLETE was $71.7 million in 2023 compared to $16.3 million in 2022. Net income in 2023 reflected a $44.3 million after-tax gain recognized for a favorable arbitration ruling involving a subsidiary of ALLETE Clean Energy. Net income in 2023 also included the gain on sale of the Red Barn project in 2023 of $4.3 million after-tax and higher interest income related to interest awarded as part of the arbitration ruling. These increases were partially offset by lower wind resources and availability at its wind energy facilities in 2023 as well as a network outage located near its Caddo wind energy facility resulting in lower earnings. Net income in 2022 included reserves for an anticipated loss on the sale of ALLETE Clean Energy’s project to repower and sell its Northern Wind project as well as earnings from the legacy Northern Wind facilities, which were decommissioned in April 2022 as part of the project.

Corporate and Other net income attributable to ALLETE was $28.2 million in 2023 compared to $23.1 million in 2022. Net income in 2023 reflects higher earnings from New Energy in 2023 compared to 2022 as a result of more renewable development projects closing during 2023, income in 2023 from net losses attributable to non-controlling interest for tax equity financed solar energy facilities and the impact of purchase price accounting in 2022. Net income from New Energy in 2023 was $17.6 million. Net income from New Energy in 2022 was $7.8 million, which included a $8.3 million after-tax expense as a result of purchase price accounting related to projects under development at the time of acquisition. Net income in 2023 also reflects earnings from Minnesota solar projects placed into service in the fourth quarter of 2022 and second quarter of 2023, and a $3.8 million after-tax expense for the consolidated income tax impact resulting from the gain on the favorable arbitration ruling. Net income in 2022 included transaction costs of $2.7 million after-tax related to the acquisition of New Energy in April 2022.



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2023 Compared to 2022

(See Note 14. Business Segments for financial results by segment.)

Regulated Operations
Year Ended December 3120232022
Millions  
Operating Revenue – Utility$1,238.3 $1,259.3 
Fuel, Purchased Power and Gas – Utility484.3 545.5 
Transmission Services – Utility88.2 76.7 
Operating and Maintenance247.1 239.3 
Depreciation and Amortization179.2 171.9 
Taxes Other than Income Taxes44.5 57.4 
Operating Income195.0 168.5 
Interest Expense(63.9)(58.1)
Equity Earnings23.1 19.3 
Other Income15.4 9.8 
Income Before Income Taxes169.6 139.5 
Income Tax Expense (Benefit)22.4 (10.4)
Net Income Attributable to ALLETE$147.2$149.9 

Operating Revenue – Utility decreased $21.0 million from 2022 primarily due to lower kWh sales, fuel adjustment clause recoveries and gas sales, partially offset by higher cost recovery rider revenue, FERC formula-based rates and transmission revenue.

Lower kWh sales reduced revenue $32.5 million from 2022 reflecting lower sales to residential, commercial and municipal customers as well as lower sales to other power suppliers, partially offset by higher sales to industrial customers. Sales to residential, commercial and municipal customers decreased from 2022 primarily due to warmer weather in the winter months in 2023 compared to 2022. Heating degree days for Duluth, Minnesota, were down 13 percent in 2023 compared to 2022. Sales to municipal customers also decreased as a result of a new contract entered into with Hibbing Public Utilities in 2022 with sales under the new contract now classified under other power suppliers. Sales to industrial customers increased primarily due to higher sales to taconite customers as well as sales to ST Paper, which became a Large Power Customer in 2023, higher sales to Cenovus Energy, which restarted its refinery in Superior, Wisconsin, in 2023, and higher sales to pipeline and other customers. (See Outlook – Regulated Operations – Industrial Customers – ST Paper and Cenovus Energy.) Sales to other power suppliers, which are sold at market-based prices into the MISO market on a daily basis or through PSAs of various durations, decreased in 2023 compared to 2022 primarily due to fewer market sales and lower market prices in 2023 compared to 2022.

 
Kilowatt-hours Sold
20232022Quantity
Variance
%
Variance
Millions    
Regulated Utility    
Retail and Municipal    
Residential1,089 1,148 (59)(5.1)
Commercial1,347 1,359 (12)(0.9)
Industrial7,044 6,745 299 4.4 
Municipal466 540 (74)(13.7)
Total Retail and Municipal9,946 9,792 154 1.6 
Other Power Suppliers2,819 3,149 (330)(10.5)
Total Regulated Utility Kilowatt-hours Sold12,765 12,941 (176)(1.4)

Revenue from electric sales to taconite and mining customers accounted for 32 percent of regulated operating revenue in 2023 (32 percent in 2022). Revenue from electric sales to paper, pulp and secondary wood product customers accounted for 5 percent of regulated operating revenue in 2023 (5 percent in 2022). Revenue from electric sales to pipelines and other industrial customers accounted for 11 percent of regulated operating revenue in 2023 (10 percent in 2022).

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2023 Compared to 2022 (Continued)
Regulated Operations (Continued)

Fuel adjustment clause revenue decreased $20.6 million primarily due to lower fuel and purchased power costs attributable to retail and municipal customers. (See Fuel, Purchased Power and Gas – Utility.)

Revenue from gas sales at SWL&P decreased $4.6 million reflecting fewer gas sales resulting from warmer winter weather and lower gas prices in 2023 compared to 2022. (See Fuel, Purchased Power and Gas – Utility.)

Cost recovery rider revenue increased $18.2 million primarily due to fewer production tax credits generated by Minnesota Power. If production tax credits are generated at a level below those assumed in Minnesota Power’s retail rates, an increase in cost recovery rider revenue is recognized to offset the impact of lower production tax credits on income tax expense.

Revenue from wholesale customers under FERC formula-based rates increased $9.6 million primarily due to higher rates reflecting higher expenses billable under wholesale customer contracts.

Transmission revenue increased $9.2 million primarily due to higher MISO-related revenue.

Operating Expenses decreased $47.5 million from 2022.

Fuel, Purchased Power and Gas – Utility expense decreased $61.2 million, or 11 percent, from 2022 primarily due to lower kWh sales, purchased power prices and fuel costs as well as lower gas sales and prices.

Transmission Services – Utility expense increased $11.5 million, or 15 percent, from 2022 primarily due to higher MISO-related expense.

Operating and Maintenance expense increased $7.8 million, or 3 percent, from 2022 primarily due to higher salaries and wages, vegetation management costs, and materials purchased for use in generation facilities and field operations. These increases were partially offset by lower contract and professional services as well as lower benefit costs.

Depreciation and Amortization expense increased $7.3 million, or 4 percent, from 2022 primarily due to a higher plant in service balance in 2023.

Taxes Other than Income Taxes decreased $12.9 million, or 22 percent, from 2022 primarily due to lower property tax expense resulting from the favorable impact of an updated estimate for 2022 property tax expense recorded in 2023.

Interest Expense increased $5.8 million, or 10 percent, from 2022 primarily due to higher interest rates and interest on Minnesota Power’s reserve for interim rate refunds in 2023.

Equity Earnings increased $3.8 million from, or 20 percent, 2022 primarily due to period over period changes in ATC’s estimate of a refund liability related to the appeals court decision on MISO return on equity complaints in 2022. (See Note 6. Equity Investments.)

Other Income increased $5.6 million from 2022 reflecting year over year differences in various individually immaterial items.

Income Tax Expense increased $32.8 million from 2022. The effective tax rate in 2023 was an income tax expense compared to a benefit in 2022 primarily due to lower production tax credits and higher pre-tax income.


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2023 Compared to 2022 (Continued)
ALLETE Clean Energy

Year Ended December 3120232022
Millions  
Operating Revenue
Contracts with Customers – Non-utility $413.4 $110.7 
Other – Non-utility (a)
5.1 7.6 
Cost of Sales – Non-utility342.2 56.7 
Operating and Maintenance52.1 47.3 
Depreciation and Amortization57.5 58.6 
Taxes Other than Income Taxes10.0 10.7 
Operating Loss(43.3)(55.0)
Interest Expense(0.8)(2.3)
Other Income (b)
68.0 10.8 
Income (Loss) Before Income Taxes23.9 (46.5)
Income Tax Expense (Benefit)2.7 (15.4)
Net Income (Loss)21.2