Gov. Jack Dalrymple and members of the EmPower North Dakota Commission today joined ALLETE executives in announcing the Minnesota-based energy company's plans to develop a comprehensive energy transportation corridor. ALLETE's energy corridor would consolidate the shipment of energy resources through a single pathway, expand the state's capacity to transport natural gas and other energy resources and offer new solutions for the management of wastewater and carbon dioxide.
The energy corridor could parallel a 465-mile electric transmission right of way already operated by ALLETE. The energy company's existing right of way supports the company's transmission line which carries electricity from the lignite-fired Young Generating Station in Center, N.D., and the nearby Bison Wind Energy Center to Duluth, Minn.
ALLETE Clean Energy Inc., a subsidiary of ALLETE, plans to extend the right of way another 60 miles to western North Dakota and make room on the pathway to transport natural gas and other energy to major connections in Minnesota. From Minnesota, the energy resources can be channeled to seaports, refineries and other markets.
"The ALLETE Energy Corridor is a breakthrough opportunity to significantly reduce the flaring of natural gas and increase our take-away capacity for all of our energy resources," Dalrymple said. "This integrated corridor would expand the market opportunities for North Dakota energy and reduce the impacts on landowners by consolidating energy transmission.
"The corridor would not only support the development of natural gas and oil, but also wind- and coal-generated electricity," Dalrymple said. "The corridor also has the potential to solve challenges in the management of wastewater and carbon dioxide generated at coal-fired power plants,"
ALLETE officials said the corridor could supply natural gas to value-added energy ventures such as fertilizer production plants under development in North Dakota. Other opportunities include the transfer of water and wastewater as well as carbon dioxide generated at coal-fired power plants.
Dalrymple, ALLETE President, Chairman and CEO Alan Hodnik and Eric Norberg, president of ALLETE Clean Energy, outlined the company's plans for an energy corridor during a news conference at the State Capitol. Hodnik and Norberg also detailed the project for members of the EmPower North Dakota Commission.
Established by the Legislature, the EmPower North Dakota Commission is charged with assisting the state in developing a comprehensive energy policy. The commission is chaired by Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson.
"We see the ALLETE Energy Corridor as a comprehensive infrastructure solution in North Dakota that could serve many products and producers across the region," Hodnik said. "We value Gov. Dalrymple's support of our vision and appreciate him bringing it forward to other members of the state's energy sector."
Hodnik and Norberg said ALLETE is in talks with companies that are interested in participating in the energy corridor.
"This project could expedite efforts to expand our energy take-away capacity because the vast majority of this pathway already exists," Dalrymple said. "I encourage all members of our diverse energy industry to consider the potential that this comprehensive energy corridor could provide."