Duluth-based Minnesota Power has made a deal with Manitoba Hydro that will create a storage system for excess wind energy in Canada.
Starting in 2020, Manitoba Hydro will sell 250 megawatts of hydro power to Minnesota Power, but will also take wind-generated electricity from Minnesota Power's wind farms when there's too much for Minnesota Power's own customers.
Minnesota Power Executive Vice President Dave McMillan said this can happen at certain times of day or seasons of the year.
"What will happen is we would transmit energy north, and Manitoba Hydro would simply stop transmitting energy to us," McMillan said.
McMillan said Manitoba Hydro can cut back on production relatively easily.
"If they don't generate at a given time with a hydroelectric facility, then obviously they're storing water that they can later utilize to generate when we don't have wind available or when our loads are quite high and we need more from them," McMillan said.
The agreement requires regulatory approval, and construction of power lines between the two systems.