Minnesota Power buys power line from ND co-op

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DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Power has bought a high-voltage power line that it plans to use to deliver wind power.

The Duluth-based utility, a division of Allete Inc., purchased the 250-kilovolt line from the Square Butte Electric Cooperative, of Grand Forks, N.D. It runs 465 miles from Center, N.D., to Hermantown, Minn.

Minnesota Power spokeswoman Amy Rutledge says the line now provides the Duluth area with electricity from coal. But she says that power will be replaced entirely by wind energy over the next several years.

Rutledge says the $70 million purchase will save Minnesota Power the cost of building a new line for the 75-megawatt wind farm it’s planning near New Salem, N.D.

The line will help the company meet a Minnesota state mandate that 25 percent of its power come from renewables by 2025.