The blade and a solar array planned for 2021 symbolize company’s commitment to a sustainable energy future

ALLETE, Inc. will install a wind turbine blade on the side of its headquarters building in downtown Duluth on Wednesday as part of its ongoing plaza renovation.

The wind turbine blade symbolizes ALLETE’s sustainability in action strategy. The company is the second-largest investor in renewable energy in North America relative to market cap. The installation of the wind turbine blade comes as its utility division, Minnesota Power, is on the cusp of reaching 50% renewable energy by adding more contracted wind power, bringing its total wind power capacity to about 870 megawatts. ALLETE Clean Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of ALLETE, recently announced McDonald’s Corp. is a customer for its Caddo wind site under construction in Oklahoma, and the company’s recently completed Diamond Spring wind site in Oklahoma is generating electricity.

The 82-foot, 6,000-pound wind turbine blade was a prototype for ALLETE Clean Energy’s recently completed turbine refurbishment project. The company refurbished 384 turbines across three wind projects in Iowa and Minnesota over four years as part of an $80 million project to extend the useful life of the turbines. ALLETE Clean Energy, formed in 2011, will have more than 1,450 megawatts of wind energy online and built-sold to other utilities by the end of 2021 across seven states.

The turbine blade will be lifted into place by two cranes between 8:30-10 am, weather permitting. 

In 2021, a solar array will be installed on the plaza to highlight solar energy’s contribution to Minnesota Power’s energy mix. The company has more than 11 megawatts of solar generation in service, and plans to add three projects totaling about 20 more megawatts in 2021. ALLETE subsidiary Superior Water Light and Power also recently announced a community solar garden for customers with plans to break ground next year.