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Dear Friends, What does it mean to renew and transform? It means giving somebody or something new energy, strength and enthusiasm to change for the better. It means reaffirming a promise or commitment to improve how things are done. It means restoring value and beauty where it may have been lost. Minnesota Power, an ALLETE company, has

the people, the power and the passion to renew and transform.

Our 2008-2009 Community Investment Report highlights how that energy is being applied to improve the quality of life in our region, including: • Positive change is occurring in the way we generate electricity with cleaner technology and more renewable fuel sources; through the responsible stewardship of company lands; and via programs that benefit individuals and families. • The Minnesota Power Foundation is investing nearly $1 million per year to help young people attend college and nonprofits serve regional needs. • Our economic development team is supporting innovative businesses, raising awareness of global opportunities, advancing strategic industries and marketing regional assets. • Minnesota Power’s Conservation Improvement Program, Power of One®, is transforming the way households, businesses and communities use energy through education and by rewarding choices that conserve electricity and benefit the environment. • Individual employees, customers and partners are volunteering their time, using their skills and sharing their financial resources to make our region the best it can be. Please join me in thanking the people in our company and communities who use their energy and passion in transformative ways. They renew our faith in a bright, vibrant future. Sincerely,

Don Shippar Chairman, President and CEO ALLETE




people 

The heart and soul of Minnesota Power are people. We employ more than 1,300 dedicated,

hardworking men and women, who take pride in their company and in their communities. Many employees belong to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 31. Our union and management work together to ensure a safe, stimulating work environment and a corporate culture that promotes active citizenship and volunteerism. Customers recognize and appreciate how well Minnesota Power employees perform. A 2008 survey suggests those we serve overwhelmingly view Minnesota Power as a good corporate citizen—from our financial contributions and support of worthy causes to environmental stewardship and employee involvement. Our people make it possible.

power 

Minnesota Power creates and delivers vital energy to enhance the security, comfort and

quality of life in northern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. Our company and its affiliated utility in Wisconsin supply electricity to 156,000 retail customers, 16 municipalities, hundreds of businesses and several large industrial operations, including taconite producers, paper mills and pipeline companies. Our service territory spans more than 26,000 square miles. It takes a lot of energy to serve so many customers over such a broad geographic area. Our regulated power supply is 1,543 megawatts, most of which is generated at steam-electric stations in northeastern Minnesota. We deliver electricity through nearly 8,900 miles of lines, supported by 169 substations. This system is interconnected with the transmission grid to promote regional reliability. Low sulfur coal is Minnesota Power’s primary fuel, but we have made significant and growing investments in renewable energy. In 2008, we began generating commercial wind power on the Iron Range—a first of its kind development for the region. We also purchase large amounts of wind energy from other projects and plan to develop more capacity. In addition, Minnesota Power operates the largest hydroelectric system in Minnesota and is involved in several biomass projects. We are proud to say that nearly 12 percent of our energy now comes from renewable sources, and we expect to achieve 25 percent on or before Minnesota’s 2025 mandated deadline.

the people, the power and the passion...




Minnesota Power also recognizes the important role energy efficiency plays in meeting the energy needs of our region. Through our Power of One® conservation efforts, we have expanded educational programs and online tools to help customers become more aware of energy usage, energy-efficiency options and how to save. Adjusting our mix of fuel sources toward more renewable energy and promoting energy conservation are environmentally responsible and make good business sense, preventing the need for new generation plants in the near future.

passion 

We feel passionately about our region and are proud to call it home. As a company

and as individuals, we use our resources to do much more than simply meet current and future energy needs. Our highest values include safety, environmental stewardship, economic development, quality education, cultural opportunities, healthy lifestyles, civic leadership and community involvement. Passion for good stewardship is reflected in Minnesota Power’s environmental ethics statement, in which we promise to “... limit the environmental impacts of our activities ... protect the environment as we carry out responsibilities ... stress efficiency, recycling and pollution prevention ... demonstrate and promote conservation of land, air, water and energy resources ... and advocate for reasonable and practical environmental laws, regulations, policies and practices.” We honor the trust people place in Minnesota Power. Every day, we renew our pledge to conduct business with honesty, integrity and commitment to service.




to renew &

These are transformative times for the energy industry. Across the country, people are looking to electric utilities for innovative ways to meet energy needs in creative, environmentally responsible ways. Minnesota Power is rising to that challenge with major investments in renewable energy and an aggressive, yet responsible, program of facility upgrades that exceeds existing emission requirements. We are well on our way to achieving Minnesota’s mandate of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025, while reducing emissions and improving energy efficiency.

energy production


transform wind

It was a breathtaking sight. Just before sundown on July 21, 2008, all 10 towering wind turbines

at Minnesota Power’s Taconite Ridge Wind Energy Center rotated in unison for the very first

time. Taconite Ridge is northern Minnesota’s first commercial wind farm. Located on property owned by U.S. Steel, it is capable of generating 25 megawatts of renewable electricity, helping to strengthen and balance the region’s energy mix. “To see these massive pieces of machinery spinning at the same time and generating power was awe inspiring,” said Andy Remus, Taconite Ridge project manager. “What a unique location to make green energy.” “Minnesota Power has always been a great corporate citizen,” said Minnesota State Representative Tom Rukavina, applauding the new wind farm and the utility’s commitment to make it a reality. Along with electricity, wind power is generating new job opportunities on the Iron Range for people such as Lyle Mattson, supervisor at Taconite Ridge and Minnesota Power’s first windenergy employee. “It is exciting to be part of this project and to use my skills in this way,” said Mattson, a master electrician, of his new career in renewable energy. Minnesota Power has been strengthening its wind power capabilities over the past few years. Harnessing wind power on the Iron Range is just part of a larger strategy. There are plans to develop several hundred megawatts of new capacity that will be delivered using an existing transmission line that Minnesota Power has agreed to purchase in 2009. These efforts will not replace coal-generated power, but enhance Minnesota Power’s ability to meet the growing energy needs of customers.

renewable energy






wood 

energy

Fast growing tree species, forest residue and wood waste provide another renewable fuel

source, called biomass. Several large, paper-producing customers, including Sappi Fine Papers and UPM Blandin, generate biomass power on site.

Minnesota Power’s Hibbard Energy Center in West Duluth uses biomass to produce steam for NewPage Corporation’s pulp and paper mill. A plan to purchase on-site boilers currently owned by

the City of Duluth will allow Minnesota Power to increase Hibbard’s biomass energy production substantially. The company is reaching out to area loggers with educational programs and incentives, hoping to interest them in biomass as a secondary product. It also is working with Deer River Hired Hands (DRHH) to produce a biomass fuel from recycled wood products. DRHH is a nonprofit that provides training and supported employment to developmentally challenged adults. Minnesota Power purchases this renewable fuel to burn at Rapids Energy Center in Grand Rapids.

“Minnesota Power is forward looking when it comes to our energy future and enthusiastically embracing the goal in trying to get more renewable energy by 2025. They are almost half way there already, and they are aggressively seeking out new options, while trying to protect ratepayers from unreasonable costs.”

Governor Tim Pawlenty


production water 

Renewable energy has been important to Minnesota Power for more than a century, since

the Thomson Hydroelectric Station was built on the St. Louis River in Jay Cooke State Park. That location plus 10 other hydropower facilities in northern Minnesota produce 115 megawatts of electricity, making Minnesota Power the largest hydroelectric producer in the state.

Minnesota Power is committed to maintaining and modernizing this system. Union workers with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 31 recently replaced two 102-year-old turbines at the Little Falls Hydroelectric Station with brand new technology, repowering and restoring the system for future generations. “Replacing these turbines is significant to our community and company,” said Frank Muhvich, Jr.,

hydro maintenance superintendent. “Harnessing the power of water is environmentally clean, renewable and flexible.” Minnesota Power also is looking to Canada as a source for hydropower. It is buying surplus energy from Manitoba Hydro and negotiating a 15-year agreement to purchase 250 megawatts, beginning around 2020. The long-term sale would require construction of hydroelectric facilities in northern Manitoba and major new transmission lines between Canada and the United States.

renewable energy




energy

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Minnesota Power Joins Climate Registry Minnesota Power became a founding reporter of The Climate Registry in 2008. Through this voluntary commitment, we will calculate, verify and publicly report our greenhouse gas emissions, using consistent, internationally recognized standards. It is another step in a longstanding legacy of environmental stewardship.


production

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“Minnesota Power has demonstrated exemplary environmental leadership by stepping forward to support The Climate Registry in its preliminary stages. We are

deeply grateful for their integral support in helping to address the challenge of climate change.”

boswell 

Gina McCarthy, The Climate Registry

Minnesota Power is very proactive in reducing air emissions and improving energy

efficiency at its power plants. The largest emission-control project currently underway is at Boswell Energy Center in Cohasset. The multi-million dollar retrofit of Boswell Unit 3 is expected to cut mercury emissions by up to 90 percent and nitrogen oxide (NOx) and sulfur dioxide by more than 80 percent. Particulate emissions will be reduced an expected 90 percent. The project has created hundreds of well-paying jobs for contract workers and increased demand for building supplies and materials, stimulating the entire region’s economy. This investment will make Boswell Unit 3 one of the lowest-emitting, coal-fired units in the country. It is scheduled for completion in 2009. Minnesota Power also launched an early and voluntary initiative to upgrade Boswell’s other units. The new $77 million investment will reduce NOx emissions on Units 1, 2 and 4. It also will replace the Unit 4 turbine with a far more efficient design, producing significantly more energy with no additional emissions. “Turbine technology has improved dramatically since the 1970s when the old turbine was designed,” said Bill Poulter, supervising engineer, Minnesota Power. “We are gaining about 60 megawatts of additional power, strictly through efficiency.”

emission reduction


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to renew &

Energy efficiency is very important if we are to meet the future energy needs of our region. Power of One®, Minnesota Power’s energy conservation program, educates customers about energy efficiency and provides incentives to take action. Since 2004, our company’s conservation initiatives have helped people living and working in our area save more than 11,600 kWh of electricity—one home, one business and one community at a time.

energy usage


transform One change. One choice. That is all it takes to begin saving energy, lowering costs and benefiting the environment through conservation. Across our region, individuals, companies and organizations are taking personal responsibility and making positive energy choices in their homes, businesses and communities. They are exercising what Minnesota Power calls the Power of One®. Learn more about the Power of One® and how you can put it to work at www.mnpower.com/powerofone.

one home 

Jay and Helen Coughlin are among a growing number of consumers who take energy

efficiency seriously and demand homes that outperform energy codes. They spent months researching materials, comparing systems, evaluating products and developing plans for a high performance, energy-efficient home. They contacted Minnesota Power to review their plans. Minnesota Power offers residential plan and design reviews, site inspections, performance testing, rebates and ENERGY STAR® home certification through its Triple E/ENERGY STAR® New Construction Program. It also provides online energy calculators for builders and hosts the annual Energy Design Conference and Expo at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. The event draws more than 1,000 attendees per year and offers dozens of sessions and exhibitor booths.

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one business 

Energy efficiency makes good business sense. That is why Security Jewelers

and Cirrus Design Corporation in Duluth converted to ENERGY STAR® lighting, Magnum Machining in Deerwood is updating its production lines with variable frequency drive motors, and the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce switched its “City of Lights” display to light emitting diodes. Minnesota Power’s PowerGrant commercial conservation program provides energy analysis, technical assistance and rebates to encourage businesses to invest in energy-efficient products and processes. Read how these changes are helping companies stay competitive in PowerGrant Profiles at www.mnpower.com/powergrant.

“Improving energy efficiency lowers our costs, satisfies customers and helps us stay competitive.”

Jerry Bowman, Magnum Machining

the power of one®


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one community 

Nothing brightens a college dorm room, apartment or office better than

ENERGY STAR lighting. That explains why students, faculty members and staff at the University ®

of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) flocked to the third annual “A Brighter UMD Energy Event” in September 2008. The energy-efficient lighting sale, held at UMD Stores Express, offered energy-efficient lamps and bulbs at special low prices. Minnesota Power donated one to five dollars for every item sold to the university’s U-Pass program, which allows UMD students and employees to ride city buses for free. More than 3,200 energy-efficient lighting products were sold, adding up to $4,500 for U-Pass. Partnering on community events, such as “A Brighter UMD,” is an effective way to advance the Power of One®. Minnesota Power’s “Learn and Earn” energy education events teach middle school and high school students about conservation, engage local retailers in the sale of energyefficient lighting, and raise money for school programs. In 2008, Park Rapids Century Middle School earned $2,500 for science activities and environmental programs through “Learn and Earn.” The event sold 5,506 energy-efficient lighting products—saving enough energy to power 32 homes for a year. Another example, the annual Energy Awareness Expo at the Duluth Salvation Army, helps low income residents stretch limited dollars by providing fuel assistance and energy-efficient home products. Minnesota Power is a key sponsor. In conjunction with St. Louis County and the Duluth Salvation Army, Minnesota Power kicked off 2009 with The Great Refrigerator/Freezer Roundup. Minnesota Power donated $25 to the Salvation Army’s HeatShare program for every old refrigerator or freezer collected in the first two months, helping to keep low income residents warm through the winter.

energy usage


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to renew &

As one of northeastern Minnesota’s largest private property owners, Minnesota Power has a responsibility to manage company land and reservoir lakes thoughtfully, balancing many uses, demands and expectations. We have learned a lot about environmental stewardship and effective land management over the years. Applying that knowledge and sharing it with those who use and enjoy our property helps preserve treasured resources for future generations.

land and natural habitats


transform stewardship 

Islands add beauty and character to northern Minnesota lakes. Unfortunately,

trash and debris can ruin their appearance and harm wildlife habitats. Minnesota Power is committed to keeping island shorelines on its reservoir lakes clean and litter free. In 2008, Minnesota Power launched a new “Adopt an Island” program to meet this challenge. Through this program, individuals, families, businesses and community groups commit to clean up garbage on designated islands and stretches of undeveloped shoreline. For those who dream of owning an island, this may be the next best thing.

resource management 

Learning to care for the environment and to help others

are important life lessons for children. A recent “Log a Load for Kids” event at Minnesota Power’s Blackwater Environmental Learning Area in Cohasset taught both to students from Robert J. Elkington Middle School in Grand Rapids. The event demonstrated responsible timber harvesting, while raising money for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul. Minnesota Power land management specialists took small groups of students to the timbercutting area to watch volunteer loggers and truckers cut, stack and load wood using mechanized equipment. About 100 cords of wood were harvested and sold to area paper companies. Proceeds will help Gillette’s Mobile Outreach Clinics bring convenient care to children in Itasca and St. Louis counties who live with cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other disorders. In addition to the Blackwater Environmental Learning Area, Minnesota Power has designated the 18,000-acre Boulder Lake Management Area as a real-world classroom, with activities that demonstrate natural resource management.

green space 

Trees and shrubs are naturally beautiful. In June 2008, more than 1,400 saplings

and bushes were planted on the sites of two Minnesota Power generating stations. The greenery will beautify the grounds, while creating “living windbreaks” to control dust, prevent air and water pollution, and consume carbon dioxide. About 1.8 acres at the Boswell Energy Center in Cohasset were planted with eight different species. In addition to conifers and hardwoods, Nanking cherries and juneberries were incorporated into the windbreak, creating habitat for songbirds. Plantings at Taconite Harbor Energy Center in Schroeder included Black Hills spruce trees and red dogwoods.

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to renew &

The Northland is weathering the nation’s economic storm with optimism and resilience. Billions of dollars worth of investments in core industries are on the drawing board, and the global economy is opening doors to new markets. Opportunities exist for companies and communities with the vision and confidence to seize them. Minnesota Power has been a leader in economic development for more than 30 years, using our resources and influence to position the region for success by advancing strategic initiatives, promoting regional assets and providing creative tools that encourage entrepreneurial growth.

our region’s economy


transform wind potential 

Wind power could generate jobs and create economic opportunities for

companies and communities in our region. The State of Minnesota has organized a task force to study statewide prospects for wind-related development. Jennifer Hawkins, senior economic development analyst, Minnesota Power, is part of that group. She is working to attract wind turbine manufacturers and related businesses to the Northland. “The Port of Duluth-Superior is a key asset,” Hawkins said, noting that ships and trucks transporting enormous wind components regularly utilize the port. “Combined with excellent rail and highway connections, a history of heavy industry and a centralized location, our region is very conducive to wind-related manufacturing.” Minnesota Power also is working with the Area Partnership for Economic Expansion (APEX) to explore potential for this exciting new industry.

laskin energy park 

Businesses looking for high capacity electricity, industrial steam,

deionized water and a host of other unique amenities find Laskin Energy Park in Hoyt Lakes, Minn., a powerful location. The state-of-the-art industrial park, adjacent to Minnesota Power’s 110megawatt Laskin Energy Center, also is surprisingly beautiful, tucked amid the lush green forests of northeastern Minnesota and bordered by pristine lakes. Minnesota Power’s economic development team is marketing Laskin Energy Park and its one-ofa-kind features with a new brochure, Web site and by hosting tours and networking events for prospective tenants. Promoting the region’s assets helps lure new people and businesses. Another marketing initiative, called “Wanna Move?”, was rolled out by APEX and Minnesota Power during Grandma’s Marathon. It highlighted reasons runners and their families should move to the Northland, rather than just visit.

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our region’ range readiness 

Although currently feeling the effects of the economic downturn,

northeastern Minnesota is poised for growth, with several large-scale industrial projects underway or being planned. During 2008, an impressive and dedicated group of public and

private leaders, led by Iron Range Resources, came together with a common goal—to prepare for the challenges and opportunities of accelerated growth. Known as the Range Readiness Initiative, this collaborative made great progress in its first full year. It completed a regional housing market analysis and needs study, launched a Web site to communicate with stakeholders, developed innovative workforce partnerships, and initiated ongoing dialogue with officials of the large-scale projects. “Throughout this process of preparing our region for new economic growth, Minnesota Power has been at the forefront of the Range Readiness Initiative in planning and looking to the future,” said Iron Range Resources Commissioner Sandy Layman. “Our interest goes beyond serving the electric needs of this expanding economy,” said Nancy Norr, manager, regional development, Minnesota Power. She serves on the initiative’s strategy and communications teams and chairs the opportunities development team. “We want to ensure that businesses and communities are prepared to succeed.”

strategic initiatives


’s economy global awareness 

What are the top 10 things to know about doing business in India?

That question and more were answered during a special “Focus on India” forum, held at Hibbing Community College in December 2008.

Minnesota Power joined a coalition of area businesses, educational institutions and nonprofits in planning and sponsoring the event. It was the first in a series of Global Understanding forums, designed to encourage world trade and promote cultural awareness. India was a natural starting point, with India-based Essar Steel constructing a $1.65 billion integrated steel mill on the Iron Range. “Essar Steel’s investment in northeastern Minnesota makes it important for us to learn about the Indian culture and how they do business,” said Lory Fedo, president, Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce. “This series is a wholesale attempt to encourage understanding of countries with connections to our region.” Participants enjoyed traditional Indian cuisine and cultural dance along with thought-provoking workshops. Minnesota Power is committed to helping the region benefit from global investment and compete in the world market. In 2006, it hosted a “China Ready” symposium for business and community leaders to learn more about that growing Asian market.

Focus on India “Minnesota Power worked to bring this collaboration together and provided staff to help develop, administer and promote the India forum. We couldn’t have done it without them.” Lory Fedo, Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce

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our region’ loan sponsorship 

SISU Medical Systems acts as an information technology department

for 16 rural healthcare facilities in northern Minnesota, managing electronic medical records and hospital files from a secure location in Duluth.

Recently, SISU updated and expanded its state-of-the-art data center with $1.1 million in new equipment, hardware and software. The project included new generators, an uninterruptible power supply, and upgraded air conditioning for improved efficiency and reliability. Minnesota Power sponsored a $550,000 loan through the Minnesota Community Capital Fund (MCCF) to help finance the project. MCCF leverages underutilized local economic development funds to help businesses secure additional funding. “As a nonprofit organization servicing the healthcare industry, having an additional resource to help us update technology is invaluable,” said Jessica Schiff, marketing and communications coordinator, SISU. SISU employs 70 people. It recently was ranked as No. 16 in Modern Healthcare magazine’s Top 100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare.

entrepreneurial tools


’s economy powering innovation 

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Bold new technology is transforming the region’s mining

industry, creating optimism for a strong future. Construction of Mesabi Nugget, a partnership between Steel Dynamics and Kobe Steel Ltd, continued on schedule in 2008, with plans to open in 2009. Located on the former site of LTV Steel in Hoyt Lakes, it will be the world’s first full-scale demonstration plant of an iron nugget technology developed by Kobe Steel. Minnesota Power is supplying robust, reliable and cost-effective energy to the plant, helping to secure this new industry and the hundreds of jobs it brings to the region.

site certification 

Time is money in the business world. That is why companies looking

to expand or relocate in Minnesota will appreciate the state’s new Shovel Ready site certification program. Shovel Ready guarantees that sites are properly zoned, permitted, assessed and equipped to streamline development. “If a manufacturing company needs to be up and running, owners don’t have time to wait for zoning changes, infrastructure or ground testing for remediation,” said Kevin McKinnon, director of business development, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). “Shovel Ready certification reduces risk, shortens the time frame and expedites construction.” Minnesota Power served as a catalyst in creating the statewide program, working closely with Minnesota DEED and the Positively Minnesota marketing partnership. Certifying development sites will assist expanding and relocating companies, while giving Minnesota communities a competitive edge. © Dave Witt/Aero-Environmental Consulting LLC


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to renew &

People are the energizing force behind Minnesota Power. Our employees are among the best in the world, and we work hard to provide a safe, healthy work environment with stimulating opportunities for growth and advancement.

human resources


transform workforce development 

Students who graduate with degrees in electrical and

instrumentation automation technology from Mesabi Range Community and Technical College have an advantage in the region’s workforce. The program, like many others offered at higher educational institutions in northeastern Minnesota, is shaped to meet the specific needs of area businesses. Each year, representatives from Minnesota Power and other core industries meet with college educators on various campuses to discuss employment trends, technology changes and skills needed for anticipated job openings. “We help area colleges adjust their programs to prepare students for jobs in our industry and region,” said Brad Lussier, a technical group leader at Minnesota Power’s Boswell Energy Center, who serves as a post-secondary technical education program advisor to Mesabi Range. Attracting and retaining the best workers is important to Minnesota Power and the region. Company personnel visit area campuses, make presentations, conduct power plant tours and participate in job fairs, hoping to interest young people in promising careers.

“Consulting with employers like Minnesota Power helps us train students with the right skills and credentials to meet regional workforce needs. It closes the loop.” Scott Norcia, Faculty Member, Mesabi Range

volunteerism 

Giving back to the community is a core value at Minnesota Power, and

employees donate thousands of hours each year to help area nonprofits, schools, churches and other organizations make a positive difference. In September 2008, the first Volunteer Fair was held at Minnesota Power’s corporate headquarters. More than 40 organizations set up booths and provided information about volunteer opportunities. Employees responded generously, signing up to share their time and talents. When hurricanes and natural disasters strike in other parts of the country, the people of Minnesota Power are just as willing to help. In September 2008, a Minnesota Power line crew responded to a call from the American Electric Power Company. High velocity winds in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike severely damaged its distribution system, knocking out power to thousands of customers in Ohio. Minnesota Power’s response team included employees from several communities. They quickly helped restore electricity so life could return to normal.

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“People are excited. They want to get out and make our community a great place to work and raise families. Fuse is a good way to get involved.” Joscelyn Arnold, Employee of Minnesota Power and Member of Fuse Duluth

fuse duluth 

Talented young adults bring vision, passion and energy to their communities.

Fuse Duluth connects and empowers the next generation of business and community leaders through networking, issues forums, after-hours events and other activities. Formerly known as Duluth Young Professionals, this division of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce is growing in number and intensity. Minnesota Power is a corporate sponsor, and dozens of employees are involved.

leadership training 

Thirty business leaders from around Minnesota got a close-

up look at mammoth mining equipment during a recent tour of the Iron Range. It was part of Leadership Minnesota, a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce program that gives participants insight into the state’s economy and their companies’ role in it. “Leadership Minnesota helps business leaders understand the diversity of industries in Minnesota,” said Josh Skelton, renewable operations manager at Minnesota Power’s Rapids Energy Center and a 2008-2009 Leadership Minnesota enrollee. “For example, it exposed people from across the state to our region’s taconite industry and explained its importance to the larger economy.” Minnesota Power is a sponsor of Leadership Minnesota and sends at least one employee each year. Employees also participate in Leadership Duluth, Leadership Superior/Douglas County, Blandin Community Leadership and other localized programs.

civic involvement


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working well 

Healthy employees have a positive impact on the workplace and enjoy a

higher quality of life. Minnesota Power is a recognized leader for its exceptional health and wellness initiatives. In 2008, it was featured in Working Well, a special publication of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. The article profiled employees who have transformed their lives thanks to Minnesota Power’s health promotions. The company offers on-site exercise equipment and fitness classes, interest-free wellness loans, smoking cessation incentives and “Strider” clubs that promote walking, running, skiing and team sports. Nearly 40 percent of the workforce participates in at least one of these programs. With 1,300 employees, that’s a healthy number!

safety 

It is tempting to take shortcuts on safety when you are in a hurry or no one is watching, but

the impacts of an on-the-job accident are dramatic and far reaching. Minnesota Power’s new “Want to vs. Have to” safety training reminds employees to consider the people and activities they value most when making decisions that could affect safety. “No one wants their family to suffer or their lifestyle to change because of an injury,” said Kent VanderMeiden, a lead maintenance generation journeyman at Thomson Hydro, who has participated in the training. “We are creating a culture where people follow safety procedures because they want to stay safe.” In 2008, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry recertified Minnesota Power as a MNSTAR corporation, recognizing the company’s excellence in safety and health management as exceeding OSHA standards. Minnesota Power first received MNSTAR certification in 2000. The recent review found that Minnesota Power management, union leadership and employees value safety and health programs and work together to identify and resolve safety issues. Injury rates at Minnesota Power fall well below the industry average. For example, the Boswell Energy Center in Cohasset, where a major environmental retrofit project is underway, has celebrated several safety milestones, including 550,000 hours of injury-free work.

health and safety


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to renew &

Charitable giving is second nature at Minnesota Power. Each year, the Minnesota Power Foundation distributes nearly $1 million to qualified nonprofits and institutions in the region. These contributions, along with sponsorships, memberships and direct donations reflect the values of our company and the priorities of employees and customers. The Twin Ports Area Nonprofit Coalition, a chapter of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, presented the Minnesota Power Foundation with a “Nonprofit Ally� award in 2008.

through charitable giving


transform

community

grants 

The Boys & Girls Club of Duluth serves

thousands of kids each year with five sites in the Twin Ports and on the Iron Range. Its newest location at the Duluth Heritage Sports Center provides even more safe, healthy activities that build character, encourage learning, develop life skills and promote fitness. The Minnesota Power Foundation is supporting educational programs at the new site so area kids can receive homework help and tutoring in a state-of-the-art learning center.

envir. united way education health & human services arts & community services

youth dev.

“Working with schools to help kids increase their grades is a big part of what we do,” said Todd Johnson, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Duluth. “Minnesota Power’s gift is helping us provide educational services in this new facility.”

united way 

Every child should enter kindergarten confident and eager to

learn. The United Way of Greater Duluth’s new “Success By 6” collaborative community initiative will help prepare children for success in school and throughout life. Minnesota Power is a passionate supporter of the United Way, advancing high impact initiatives like childhood literacy and helping member agencies meet basic human needs through corporate donations,

minnesota power 2008 charitable giving environment $82,261 education $306,960 youth development $118,116

employee contributions, leadership assistance and volunteerism.

arts & community services $267,047

In 2008, Minnesota Power employees pledged more than $240,000 to United

health & human services $124,268

Way campaigns in Carlton County, Crow Wing County, Grand Rapids, Greater Duluth, Morrison County, Northeastern Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin. The Minnesota Power Foundation contributed an additional $250,000.

scholarships 

High school seniors who applied for Minnesota Power

Community Involvement Scholarships in 2008 were just entering kindergarten when the program began 12 years ago. Every year, Minnesota Power distributes 25 scholarships of $2,000 each to area high school students who demonstrate outstanding volunteerism and community service. Minnesota Power introduced a second scholarship program in 2008. The New Generation Scholarship strengthens the region’s workforce by helping college students in Minnesota Power’s service territory complete degrees in fields that match anticipated labor shortages.

united way $250,750 total $1,149,402

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environmental grants

Students from the University of Minnesota Duluth’s

Archeological Field School excavated pieces of cloth, remnants of shot glasses and the foundations of a historic house and store during a dig of Whiskey Row, the original site of Two Harbors. A marina and safe harbor are planned for the property. The dig, overseen by the Department of Natural Resources, was one of three field projects funded through an environmental grant from the Minnesota Power Foundation.

teacher education

The Mississippi River is brimming with history. Just ask teachers

who explored the Mississippi River Headwaters watershed during a workshop funded by the Minnesota Power Foundation and presented by the Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center. The group learned how Minnesota’s watersheds were formed, their glacial features and the history of early inhabitants, trade and industry near the Mississippi River Headwaters. Meanwhile, science, math and technical education teachers from across the region spent part of their summer at “Discovering Science on the Range in the Field of Energy.” The two-week program, led by Communities for Responsible Energy/Environment Demonstration, educated teachers about energy and related topics. It included sessions at Minnesota Power’s Taconite Ridge Wind Energy Center and Thomson Hydroelectric Station. Minnesota Power sponsored two participants.

Minnesota Power Foundation Honored as “Nonprofit Ally” The Twin Ports Area Nonprofit Coalition, a chapter of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, presented the Minnesota Power Foundation with a “Nonprofit Ally” award in 2008.


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The people, the power and the passion to renew and transform. At Minnesota Power, we bring this electrifying combination to everything we do—from providing our largest industrial customers with reliable, affordable energy to giving the most vulnerable among us wings to fly. One day in August 2008, contractors repaving a parking lot at Minnesota Power’s Herbert Service Center in Duluth, discovered an injured great horned owl. They gently placed it in a tree. All day long, the excavating crew and Minnesota Power employees monitored the young raptor. Emily Buchanan, a wildlife rehabilitation expert, eventually was called in to rescue the bird. She took the owl to Wild and Free, an organization in Garrison, Minn., where veterinarians inserted a pin beneath its hurt shoulder. Minnesota Power Foundation donated $500 to the nonprofit in appreciation. After weeks of care and rehabilitation, the raptor was ready for release. On a clear fall day, Buchanan and Dave Nelson, of the excavating firm, returned to Herbert Service Center and set it free. Minnesota Power employees cheered the bird’s flight. Life was renewed for the young owl and transformed for those who witnessed.

wings to fly


Thank you to each and every Minnesota Power employee, customer, partner and stakeholder for putting your power and passion to work, renewing and transforming our region. For more information, please contact: Peggy Hanson Community Relations & Minnesota Power Foundation Director (218) 355-3380 mhanson@mnpower.com Visit our Web sites: www.mnpower.com www.mnpowerfoundation.org Centura Silk paper manufactured by NewPage Corporation was used for the 2008-2009 Minnesota Power Community Investment Report. Minnesota Power is proud to use the high quality product of a valued customer in this report. 10% total recovered fiber/all post-consumer fiber


2008-2009 Community Investment Report