Southern Oklahoma wind farm operator reports 2Q increased earnings

ALLETE, Inc., the Minnesota energy company building its largest wind power site in southern Oklahoma reported this week second quarter 2019 earnings of 66 cents a share on net income of $34.2 million. The results were better than last year when the earnings were 61 cents a share on net income of $31.3 million.

“We are pleased with our progress year-to-date, as we ramp to record levels of construction activities on several new projects slated to deliver carbon free generation beginning later this year and in 2020,” said ALLETE President Bethany Owen. “At ALLETE Clean Energy our recently announced Diamond Spring power sales agreements with Smithfield, Walmart and Starbucks, totaling over 300 MW in long-term contracted sales, represent an important and exciting new entrance into the growing commercial and industrial marketplace.”

ALLETE’s Regulated Operations segment, which includes Minnesota Power, Superior Water, Light and Power (SWL&P) and the Company’s investment in the American Transmission Co. (ATC), recorded net income of $30.3 million, compared to $26.0 million in the second quarter of 2018. Earnings reflect higher net income at Minnesota Power primarily due to the timing of fuel adjustment clause recoveries, lower operating and maintenance expense and increased cost recovery rider revenue.

ALLETE’s Energy Infrastructure and Related Services business, ALLETE Clean Energy, recorded second quarter 2019 net income of $1.9 million. Earnings at ALLETE Clean Energy decreased $4.9 million from 2018, primarily due to production tax credits of $2.6 million recorded in 2018 upon retrospective qualification of wind turbines in 2016 and 2017.

The company’s Diamond Spring wind site is being constructed near Sulphur, Oklahoma. In June, ALLETE announced a power sales agreement with Smithfield Foods, Inc.

It had made earlier power sale agreements with Walmart and Starbucks. The 300-megawatt Diamond Spring site is now fully contracted.

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.

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