Hydro

Minnesota Power got its start in 1906 by harnessing the energy of the St. Louis River near Duluth, and today operates the largest hydroelectric system in Minnesota. Together, 11 stations produce about 115 megawatts of electricity.

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Hydroelectric stations

  • Blanchard, Little Falls and at the Rapids Energy Center in Grand Rapids on the Mississippi River
  • Winton on the Kawishiwi River
  • Pillager and Sylvan on the Crow Wing River
  • Prairie River Station
  • Fond du Lac, Knife Falls, Scanlon and Thomson on the St. Louis River

In addition to generating hydropower from our own stations, we also buy hydroelectricity from Manitoba Hydro, based in Winnipeg, Canada. Manitoba Hydro produces most of its power from hydroelectric stations.

In May 2011, Minnesota Power signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Manitoba Hydro. The agreement calls for Manitoba Hydro to sell 250 megawatts of electricity to Minnesota Power for 15 years beginning in 2020. A unique aspect of the agreement is a “wind storage” provision that entitles Minnesota Power to transmit power northward from its wind farms in North Dakota when wind production is high or electric loads are low.

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