ALLETE exercises option to buy Armenia Mountain wind farm in Pennsylvania

ALLETE Clean Energy, a subsidiary of ALLETE Inc. (NYSE: ALE), has agreed to acquire 100% of AES Armenia Mountain Wind LLC and its 100.5-MW wind facility near Troy, Pa.

The company said May 6 that the buy is from both AES Corp. (NYSE: AES) and a minority shareholder for a total of $108 million, plus the assumption of existing debt. ALLETE Clean Energy had an option to purchase the Armenia Mountain facility, which was exercised on April 1; a purchase agreement with AES was signed April 30. Closing is expected in July 2015.

Located in the busy PJM Interconnection market near the New York-Pennsylvania border, Armenia Mountain’s sixth-seven 1.5-MW General Electric wind turbines were installed in 2009. All the facility’s energy output is sold through existing power purchase agreements that extend through 2025.

This is the fourth wind facility ALLETE Clean Energy has acquired from AES and the seventh in its portfolio. In January 2014, it finalized the acquisition of wind energy projects with a total capacity of 231 MW in Lake Benton, Minn., Storm Lake, Iowa, and Condon, Ore., from AES. Armenia Mountain is the largest and newest of the wind installations acquired by ALLETE Clean Energy.

“This acquisition continues our steady growth, with ACE’s operating assets to total 540 MW,” said ALLETE Clean Energy President Eric Norberg. “By moving into a different area of the country with a thriving renewable energy market, ACE builds upon its operational and entrepreneurial experience.”

“ALLETE continues to successfully execute and integrate the major planks within our broader energy strategy,” said ALLETE Chairman, President and CEO Al Hodnik. “ALLETE’s combined portfolio of operating wind assets from ACE and Minnesota Power will total nearly 1,000 megawatts. This latest transaction reinforces our belief that a more sustainable energy future relying less on carbon will mold the North American energy landscape over the long haul.”

In November 2014, ALLETE Clean Energy also finalized a major development agreement with Montana-Dakota Utilities, a division of MDU Resources Group (NYSE: MDU), acquiring the rights to develop and construct a 107-MW wind facility near Hettinger, N.D., and then sell the project to Montana-Dakota for approximately $200 million, pending regulatory approval.

ALLETE Clean Energy was established in 2011 to acquire or develop capital projects to create energy solutions by way of wind, solar, biomass, hydro, natural gas, shale resources, clean coal technology and other emerging energy innovations. Parent ALLETE Inc. is headquartered in Duluth, Minnesota. Its electric utilities are Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.