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Storm Lake wind

Wind turbines are shown near Storm Lake, Iowa, in an undated photo. Allete Inc. said Tuesday it is going to spend $80 million to refurbish the turbines at its wind farms in Storm Lake and Minnesota.  

STORM LAKE, Iowa | A Duluth, Minnesota-based energy firm announced Wednesday an $80 million wind turbine project that would refurbish turbines at its two Storm Lake wind farms and one in Minnesota. 

Allete Clean Energy said the project would replace select blades, gearboxes, and generators at the Storm Lake 1 and 2 wind sites in Buena Vista and Cherokee counties. The project would also repair turbines at the company's wind site in Lake Benton, Minnesota.

Storm Lake 1 consists of 144 turbines and creates 108 megawatts of energy. It is adjacent to Storm Lake 2 that has 104 turbines that produce 79-megawatts. 

A press release said the enhancements "will improve turbine performance and reliability, generate federal production tax credits at each site and support the renewal of power sale agreements at the Storm Lake sites."
 
The project is staged to begin this year and continue through 2020. 
 
“As a central part of ALLETE Clean Energy’s multifaceted growth strategy, this $80 million reinvestment will contribute to future earnings growth,” Allan S. Rudeck Jr., president of ALLETE Clean Energy, said in the release. “Revenue from our existing wind sites such as Lake Benton and Storm Lake is the foundation for ALLETE Clean Energy’s momentum and growth. Neighboring communities also benefit by keeping these older sites viable and valuable, which maintains jobs and landowner lease payments.”

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