O&M

Split Rock Energy LLC and MPEX integrate operations

MINNEAPOLIS, April 8, 2002 — Split Rock Energy LLC announced that it has integrated the operations of MPEX, the wholesale power marketing division of Duluth, Minn.-based Minnesota Power. MPEX’s 40-member staff is now employed by Split Rock Energy.

Split Rock Energy is the wholesale power supply alliance formed in 1999 by Minnesota Power and Elk River, Minn.-based Great River Energy to combine power supply assets and customer loads for power marketing and trading, power pool operations and generation outage protection. The company is jointly owned by Minnesota Power and Great River Energy.

Since June 1, 2000, Split Rock Energy had contracted MPEX exclusively to provide generation and load dispatch services, wholesale power marketing and trading, least-cost supply and risk management services. Split Rock Energy will continue providing those services while working to optimize the value of generating assets owned by Minnesota Power and Great River Energy, and maximize trading revenues within an established risk appetite in the wholesale power market.

“We are extremely pleased to complete the MPEX integration,” said Split Rock Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Ron Larson. “These power traders and marketers are a skilled group of professionals with a longstanding industry reputation of creatively working with our counterparts for mutual benefit.”

Larson said having Split Rock Energy employees administer all wholesale power transactions, rather than contracting for such services through a member company, reflects the organization’s growth over the past two years, as well as its intention to significantly grow Split Rock Energy. He also announced that Michael Critchley, formerly president of MPEX, has been appointed Split Rock Energy’s chief operating officer.

“This integration positions Split Rock Energy as a premier player in the wholesale power marketing arena,” Critchley said. “We look forward to continuing our existing valued customer/supplier relationships and forging new business opportunities and partnerships.”

Split Rock Energy offices are located in the Minneapolis Grain Exchange building. For more information, log on to http://www.splitrockenergy.com .