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The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has approved electric service provider Minnesota Power's 2013 resource plan.

Minnesota Power, a division of ALLETE Inc., says the plan is based on its EnergyForward resource strategy. EnergyForward aims to transition the utility's energy supply mix toward one-third renewables, one-third coal, and one-third natural gas and other market resources.

According to Minnesota Power, the resource plan includes the following components:

- The addition of 200 MW of wind energy to its system, which the company is proposing to meet through its recently announced Bison 4 project near New Salem, N.D.

- The delivery of 250 MW of hydropower under contract from Manitoba Hydro by 2020, with Minnesota Power planning to deliver this energy on its proposed 500 kV Great Northern Transmission Line.

- The reduction of coal-fired generation on its fleet by 185 MW through the conversion of Laskin Energy Center in Hoyt Lakes to a natural gas peaking station and the retirement of one of three units at Taconite Harbor Energy Center in Schroeder.

- An environmental retrofit of the company’s newest and largest generating unit, Boswell Unit 4.

- The continuation and enhancement of the company’s Power of One conservation program to meet or exceed state conservation goals of 1.5%.

“We’re pleased with the commission’s decision approving our plan for Minnesota Power to continue diversifying its energy mix in a balanced way that helps ensure reasonable cost and reliability along with increased environmental stewardship,” says Alan R. Hodnik, president, chairman and CEO of ALLETE.

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