Last week, developer ALLETE Clean Energy announced a $50,000 grant in partnership with GE Renewable Energy and Wanzek to the Mill Creek School District in Mill Creek, Oklahoma. ALLETE Inc owns ALLETE Clean Energy along with Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power of Wisconsin.
The Mill Creek school district will use most of the money to purchase 70 iPads for students and 16 laptops for teachers. With this grant, as well as a $33,000 federal grant, the school district can supply all K-12 students and teachers with devices and curriculum they need for remote learning.
The donation is a relief to Mill Creek School administrators facing the daunting task of educating students during a pandemic. “These companies have never been in this school nor have I met their people and they were so willing to help,” said School Superintendent Lorinda Chancellor. “I look forward to the day we can meet soon, and I can personally thank them for this amazing donation. We are so grateful and blessed!”
ALLETE owns and is developing the nearby 303-MW Diamond Spring wind project, which will supply Walmart, Starbucks and Smithfield Foods with renewable energy. GE Renewable Energy supplied 112 2.X MW turbines for Diamond Spring, and Wanzek is the engineering, procurement and construction contractor at the site
“We have a long tradition at ALLETE Clean Energy of working with our partners to donate to communities near our wind sites, which deliver clean energy while also supporting local communities and economies. We saw a timely grant to equip the school district with the tools it needs to conduct remote classes, and to keep students and staff safer at home, as the most meaningful way we could help during COVID-19,” said ALLETE Clean Energy President Allan S. Rudeck Jr.
Diamond Spring Senior Project Manager Brendon Lamppa, stated, “Part of our planning process is to find creative ways to integrate ourselves into these communities while we are in the area. When the opportunity to partner up with ALLETE Clean Energy to assist a local school in their time of need amidst the current pandemic presented itself, Wanzek was on board without hesitation. Wanzek team members truly believe that leaving a positive and lasting memory that exists long after our departure is of the utmost importance.”