Dear customers and investors,
At ALLETE, sustainability in action is the foundation of our strategy. The urgency and enormous importance of reducing carbon emissions have become clear in a changing world – where the effects of climate change are already upon us.
Our ALLETE strategy recognizes those impacts from climate change – and we are taking action. ALLETE is the No. 1 investor in renewable energy among U.S utilities relative to market cap, and we are poised to add significantly more clean energy in the coming years while ensuring reliable, resilient energy delivery to our customers. Our overall strategy is to enhance and grow our companies by providing sustainable energy solutions to meet changing societal expectations and evolving regulations, and all of our companies play an important role in this strategy.
We had some exciting news in November 2022, when the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved Minnesota’s Power’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Minnesota Power’s IRP lays out ambitious goals of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2035, and achieving more than 70% renewable energy in 2030. It calls for adding up to 400 megawatts of wind energy and 300 megawatts of regional solar energy, and includes a significant investment in energy storage to support the expansion of renewables. Our other utility company, Superior Water, Light & Power (SWL&P) in Wisconsin, receives its energy from Minnesota Power and shares in these carbon-reduction and climate goals.
Our newest ALLETE company, New Energy Equity, is one of the leading distributed solar developers in the nation. New Energy Equity is on track with our original projections and has increased its total pipeline of prospective solar projects to well above 2,000 megawatts. The New Energy Equity team’s solid execution and strong pipeline of future projects have only enhanced our confidence in the resiliency and strength of this business.
ALLETE Clean Energy continues to expand its national footprint through its success in creating clean energy solutions for its customers. The company now has more than 1,200 megawatts of nameplate wind capacity across seven states, and has another three projects totaling more than 360 megawatts in various stages of development. ALLETE Clean Energy is building on its reputation and strong track record of success to expand its focus beyond wind to additional opportunities within the clean energy space.
BNI Energy’s focus on sustainability involves supporting its customer to advance an ambitious project to capture the carbon emissions from a neighboring power plant and safely sequester them deep underground. If successful, it could make North Dakota’s lignite a valuable source of clean, affordable and reliable energy for decades to come.
ALLETE’s leadership toward a carbon-free energy future may be our most visible role. But as we support society with essential energy services, we also are part of that society. We believe the transition to a clean-energy future needs to be just and equitable, with new opportunities and investments designed to give everyone a chance to thrive. The decisions we make and the actions we take have a real impact.
When we nurture a more diverse workforce, we also help build diverse and resilient communities. Our work culture encourages all employees to achieve their fullest potential by acknowledging and embracing their unique skills, talents and perspectives. With our core value of integrity as our guide, our corporate governance structure serves as an example of diversity, equity and inclusion from the top.
Our contracting and philanthropic approaches can also have a big influence on our region. We strive to support diverse businesses through our purchasing and contracting decisions, an initiative that already has seen success. Our distribution of grants through the Minnesota Power Foundation has shifted to more closely align with our area’s social needs. We are committed to supporting programs that focus on education, income inequality, food insecurity, social justice and the opportunity gap.
This sustainability report highlights many of the ways we are doing the right thing for the climate while also lifting and strengthening our customers, our communities and our employees. I truly believe that how we build the clean-energy future matters as much as what we build. We envision a future of equitable, resilient and healthy communities served by increasingly clean energy, and we’ll continue to work with you to make it happen.
Bethany M. Owen
ALLETE President and CEO