Winton Power Dam - Hydro power since 1924

“Power dam” still powers up

90-year history of Winton hydro facility celebrated during Minnesota Power event

by Tom Coombe

For nearly a century, Winton has been home to a hydroelectricity plant operated by Minnesota Power.
That rich history, and the utility’s long connection to the Ely area, were celebrated in Ely during the Harvest Moon Festival in the latest in a series of “Hometown Hydro” events hosted across northern Minnesota by the utility giant.
But Al Hodnik, Minnesota Power’s CEO and a one-time supervisor of the hydroelectricity operation during his 35-year stint with the company, joked that area residents probably know the plant by a different name.
“Of course up here we don’t call it Winton Hydro - it’s the power dam,” said Hodnik.
Dozens of people took Minnesota Power up on its offer and toured the facility during its Sept. 5 event, and about 70 people crammed inside a tent at Whiteside Park for a brief reception, also hosted by MP.
Hodnik made note of an operation that began in 1923 and 1924 and remains running strong today, thanks in part to recent investments.
Company officials say the power dam remains an important part of the region’s energy future and...

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