Minnesota Power expects hydropower station in partial operation by end of year

Minnesota Power Thomson Hydro Station partial operation by end of 2013 flooding

Minnesota Power said it expects to have its largest hydropower station partially back in operation by the end of 2013 and fully restored in 2014. The station, which is located in on the lower St. Louis River, has been offline for a year because of flooding.

The 106-year-old Thomson Hydro Station has been out of service since June 20, 2012, when as much as 10 inches of rain fell in the region. Although the integrity of the hydropower dams was maintained during the flood, the volume of water flooded the six turbines at Thomas, overtopped the reservoir and breached a portion of the earthen dike at the forebay.

Repairs to the forebay are estimated at $25 million, and the company is investing about $35 million in improvements to provide protection against future flooding as well as maintenance and rehabilitation of facilities that would have required extended outages within the next several years.

Minnesota Power is a division of ALLETE Inc (NYSE: ALE).

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