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September 28, 2011

Minnesota Power goes live with iFactor’s smartphone application

Minnesota Power recently implemented the outage communications module of iFactor’s mobile device applications, a suite of reusable software modules that allows utilities to quickly deliver self service solutions to their customers. The free smartphone app is available on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry devices, and is available in the app store for each specific device. Minnesota Power is among a small number of utilities in the nation to offer near real-time outage information in a free smartphone app. With this new app, customers will have access to the same outage information provided on the Minnesota Power online outage map, Storm Center, which is also powered by iFactor. Outage data is displayed using an interactive Storm Center map, and summary information by county is available in a chart format. Data from the Storm Center site is delivered directly to the app from the utilities’ outage management system, including estimated restoration times once the outage is assessed by field crews. Minnesota Power, an operating division of ALLETE (NYSE: ALE), serving customers since 1906, generates, transmits and distributes electricity in a 26,000-square-mile region of Northern Minnesota. The company provides retail electric to 146,000 customers, including some of the largest industrial customers in the country and provides wholesale electric service to 16 municipalities. More information can be found at: www.mnpower.com.