A southern Oklahoma school district has received a $50,000 grant as a result of ALLETE Clean Energy’s new wind farm under construction near Ardmore.
ALLETE announced the grant to the Mill Creek School District, a grant in partnership with GE Renewable Energy and Wanzek.
The donation is a relief to Mill Creek School administrators facing the daunting task of educating students during a pandemic.
“These companies have never been in this school nor have I met their people and they were so willing to help,” said School Superintendent Lorinda Chancellor. “I look forward to the day we can meet soon and I can personally thank them for this amazing donation. We are so grateful and blessed!”
The school district will use most of the money to purchase about 70 iPads for students and 16 laptops for teachers. With the grant money in hand, in addition to a $33,000 federal grant, the school district can afford to supply all K-12 students and teachers with the devices and curriculum they need for remote learning.
“We have a long tradition at ALLETE Clean Energy of working with our partners to donate to communities near our wind sites, which deliver clean energy while also supporting local communities and economies. We saw a timely grant to equip the school district with the tools it needs to conduct remote classes, and to keep students and staff safer at home, as the most meaningful way we could help during COVID-19,” said ALLETE Clean Energy President Allan S. Rudeck Jr.
ALLETE Clean Energy owns and is developing the nearby Diamond Spring wind project, which will supply Walmart, Starbucks and Smithfield Foods with renewable energy. Diamond Spring, which is expected to be operational this fall, will be capable of producing 303 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 110,000 homes. GE Renewable Energy supplied 112 2.X MW turbines for Diamond Spring, and Wanzek is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor at the site.
“Wanzek enters every project with the understanding that we are simply guests in the local community,” said Diamond Spring Senior Project Manager Brendon Lamppa. “Part of our planning process is to find creative ways to integrate ourselves into these communities while we are in the area. When the opportunity to partner up with ALLETE Clean Energy to assist a local school in their time of need amidst the current pandemic presented itself, Wanzek was on board without hesitation.”
Vikas Anand, GE Renewable Energy’s CEO for Onshore Wind, Americas, said, “GE Renewable Energy is a proud partner with ALLETE Clean Energy on the Diamond Spring wind project. Together with ALLETE and Wanzek, we’re happy to support the Mill Creek School District and local community with critical technology necessary for students and teachers during these unprecedented times.”
ALLETE Clean Energy acquires, develops and operates clean and renewable energy projects. ALLETE Clean Energy owns, operates and has in advanced construction approximately 1,300 megawatts of nameplate capacity wind energy generation in seven states that is contracted under PSAs of various durations. ALLETE Clean Energy also engages in the development of wind energy facilities to operate under long-term PSAs or for sale to others upon completion.
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 eight percent equity interest in the American Transmission Co. More information about ALLETE is available at www.allete.com. ALE-CORP