Power deals reached over new southern Oklahoma wind farm

Minnesota-based ALLETE Clean Energy announced it has reached a power sales agreement for the remaining output of its Diamond Spring wind farm to be built in southern Oklahoma.

The agreement is with Smithfield Foods, Inc. and comes after an earlier announcement of agreements with Walmart and Starbucks, two large Fortune 500 companies.

Smithfield will purchase 75 megawatts for 12 years while Walmart has agreed to buy 175 megawatts for 15 years. Starbucks will purchase 50 megawatts for 15 years.

With the latest announcement, the 300-megawatt Diamond Spring site is fully contracted. The site is ALLETE Clean Energy’s first project to sell wind power to corporate customers.

The Diamond Spring windfarm is located about 25 miles northeast from Ardmore and is in Murray, Johnston and Pontotoc Counties.

 

“ALLETE Clean Energy is proud to help these leading companies meet their greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy goals through the carbon-free energy that will be generated at Diamond Spring,” said ALLETE Clean Energy President Allan S. Rudeck Jr. “In addition to adding renewable energy to meet sustainability goals, these companies also seek to lower their energy costs.”

Diamond Spring will be ALLETE Clean Energy’s largest wind site when operations begin in 2020. ALLETE Clean Energy will begin construction late this year or in early 2020. Diamond Spring will produce enough power for 114,000 homes, and increase the company’s total wind capacity to more than 1,000 megawatts at nine sites in seven states.

ALLETE Clean Energy purchased a 100 percent interest in the Diamond Spring wind site from the project’s developer, Apex Clean Energy.

Smithfield, a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest hog producer and pork processor, announced a goal in 2016 to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25 percent by 2025. To help reach that goal, the company created Smithfield Renewables, a platform that unifies and accelerates the company’s carbon reduction and renewable energy efforts.

“This partnership to source renewable energy is part of our multifaceted and comprehensive approach to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables and hog production environmental affairs at Smithfield. “The carbon-free energy generated through the Diamond Spring project is projected to account for more than 15 percent of our total energy usage across the United States, allowing us to power a substantial portion of our operations using sustainable energy.”

“When Diamond Spring comes online in 2020, it will serve three new corporate customers and deliver meaningful earnings growth for ALLETE shareholders,” said ALLETE Chairman and CEO Alan R. Hodnik. “ALLETE Clean Energy continues to help achieve ALLETE’s shared purpose to answer the call to transform the nation’s energy landscape.”

ALLETE Inc. is an energy company headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota. In addition to its electric utilities, Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power of Wisconsin, ALLETE owns ALLETE Clean Energy, based in Duluth; BNI Energy in Bismarck, North Dakota; and has an 8 percent equity interest in the American Transmission Co.

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