Great River Energy of Elk River, MN, and Minnesota Power Inc. ofDuluth, MN, plan to combine power supply assets and customer loadsfor power pool operations. MPEX, a division of Minnesota Power,will provide power trading, least-cost supply and risk managementservices for the combined operations. Ownership of existing assetsand customer supply arrangements will not change.

“For several months, our two organizations have been discussingthe possibility of forming a closer relationship to strengthen ourcompetitive positions,” said Jim Van Epps, Great River Energy CEO,and Robert D. Edwards, president of MP Electric.

Part of the impetus for the alliance is the still-evolving,volatile wholesale marketplace within the Midcontinent Area PowerPool (MAPP). The companies believe optimizing generating assets andcreating a larger resource base will mitigate risk. The alliance isto be fully formed by summer.

Great River Energy is a consumer-owned generation andtransmission cooperative and Minnesota’s second largest utility interms of generating capacity. It has 29 member distributioncooperatives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Minnesota Power holdingsinclude a low-cost electric utility that serves some of the largestindustrial loads in the United States.

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