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Minnesota Power is working with the Minnesota National Guard to develop a 10 MW solar power installation at Camp Ripley, the state's largest military base.

Minnesota Power has been the energy provider to Camp Ripley, located near Little Falls, for decades. The 53,000-acre regional training facility was established in 1856. The solar project would cover nearly 100 acres of underutilized government property at the camp.

"This project helps meet our goal of achieving the state's solar mandate, and it advances our company's EnergyForward goal of providing a balanced mix of one-third renewable, one-third coal and one-third natural gas energy sources reliably and affordably," says Al Hodnik, chairman, president and CEO of Minnesota Power parent company ALLETE Inc.

The solar farm and backup generation will be designed and constructed to allow Camp Ripley to use the energy produced by the project when the electric grid is down, providing enhanced energy security for the military site. During non-emergency operation, the solar energy produced would flow into Minnesota Power's electric grid.

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