With historic Thomson Hydro Station on the St. Louis River as a backdrop, Minnesota Power welcomed Deputy Undersecretary of the Navy Jodi Greene and other Navy personnel at a reception Wednesday as part of Navy Week activities.
ALLETE President Bethany Owen welcomed Greene and other special guests, including Duluth Mayor Emily Larson, state Representative Dave Lislegard, and sailors from the USS Constitution and the USS Minneapolis/St. Paul.
ALLETE CEO Al Hodnik, several city council and township board members also attended, along with a representative from Jay Cooke State Park and the Yellow Ribbon regional outreach coordinator for northern Minnesota.
“One reason we’re so honored to be a part of Navy Week is the deep connection we have with those who serve in the military and their families,” Owen said. “ALLETE/Minnesota Power was named a Yellow Ribbon company in 2016 and ALLETE Clean Energy followed in 2017. These designations formally recognize what ALLETE and all of its businesses have been doing from the very beginning — supporting service members, veterans and their families — in peacetime and in wartime.”
Greene said support for service members and veterans from companies like Minnesota Power and ALLETE is important for the nation.
“I commend Minnesota Power and ALLETE for being a Yellow Ribbon company,” Greene said. “Holding up our veterans is what makes America great.”
Greene also said energy facilities like Thomson play a role in the success of the Navy¹s mission and are critical assets in keeping both the armed services and the nation strong. Greene and Larson shared the news announced earlier in the day that the USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul would be commissioned in Duluth sometime in the next 12-16 months. Greene is sponsor for the littoral combat ship.
To mark the occasion, Hodnik and Owen presented Greene with a commemorative copper medallion that features Minnesota Power’s hydro facilities.
Following lunch and remarks, Greene was among those who toured Thomson Hydro, which is the heart of Minnesota Power’s hydroelectric system. During World War II, Minnesota Power was mostly a hydroelectric utility and its hydro generators, like Thomson, supplied the power that Iron Range mines needed to produce the iron ore for building ships, tanks and airplanes. It continues to produce reliable, renewable carbon-free energy today.