Under the agreement, the company will purchase a direct current (DC) transmission line from Square Butte Electric Cooperative for approximately $80 million.

The 465-mile line currently transports coal-generated energy from the Milton Young generating station in Center, North Dakota, to a Minnesota Power substation in Hermantown, Minnesota.

As part of the deal, Minnesota Power will gradually phase out the power it purchases from the Young station and replace it with wind generated electricity. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is anticipated to close in 2009.

Don Shippar, CEO of Allete, said: We want to be out in front in wind development. We are committed to meeting the state mandate to deliver more renewable energy, while at the same time investing in utility projects that make sense.