The deal also includes an option to extend for an additional five years until 2042.

BNI Coal, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ALLETE, produces around 4,000,000t each year at its surface lignite mine in Center, North Dakota. Most of the company’s lignite production is consumed by the Milton R Young Station.

ALLETE president, chairman and CEO Al Hodnik said the Minnesota Power-Minnkota Power Cooperative business relationship, first forged in the 1970’s and furthered during ALLETE’s acquisition of BNI Coal in the late 1980’s, has always been about partnership and mutual interest.

"This BNI-Minnkota coal supply agreement extension reflects that same spirit, and we have appreciated the opportunity to work in close partnership with Mac McLennan and his team on this and other strategic matters important to our industry, our customers and to the state of North Dakota," Hodnik added.

Minnkota president and CEO Robert ‘Mac’ McLennan said, "This contract extension supports Minnkota’s ability to deliver the affordable and reliable energy generated by the Young Station to our members in North Dakota and Minnesota."

BNI Coal president and general manager Wade Boeshans said, "Coal plays a significant and essential role in a balanced energy-independent future for our nation. The lignite industry is committed to providing low-cost reliable energy to consumers while continuously reducing our environmental impact."