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The repairs, largely covered by insurance, have cost at least $146 million, though customers have paid an extra $64 million to purchase higher-cost replacement power, the utility has said. The Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Association, which owns 41 percent of the unit, also had to buy replacement power, but covered the cost with reserves.
• Hunger-Free Minnesota plans to capture up to 1 million pounds of newly harvested surplus sweet corn to be delivered fresh to low-income families in up to 20 other locations in the United States. The largest single rescue of agricultural surplus to date is the result of Hunger-Free Minnesota funding and assistance provided by Cargill, food processors Seneca Foods and Pinnacle Foods Inc., and General Mills.
The corn, starting last month and continuing through October, will be harvested, cooled, packed and shipped in 40,000-pound truckloads to food banks that have preordered the corn through the Feeding America network. While food banks are working to increase their capacity to handle and distribute fresh produce, the sophisticated logistics of managing a huge volume of surplus food is beyond the resources of a single organization. The September corn rescue included months of planning following a 2012 pilot program. There’s much donated harvesting and labor along the way. More info: www.hungerfreemn.org.
• John Van Dine, the founder who’s stepping down this month as CEO of Faribault-based Sage Electrochromics, said he raised about $300 million in equity and debt capital over nearly 25 years before Sage’s 2012 sale to French building-products giant Saint-Gobain for an unspecified sum. That included an initial funding of about $35 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Pentagon and joint-development programs with 3M and other energy-researching companies
Sage Electrochromics in June shipped its first large order of energy-saving, variable-tint glass from its new, $150 million Faribault factory. The 170-employee company could grow to 250 workers as production ramps up. The new plant allows Sage to produce larger-sized, lower-cost electrochromic glass for major commercial buildings.