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Otter Tail Power Company to sponsor education seminar for teachers

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Again this year, Otter Tail Power Company will sponsor up to 10 teachers from its Minnesota and South Dakota service area to attend the 2012 Lignite Teacher Education Seminar: Energy, Economics, and Environment. The company will pay all expenses, including seminar fees, meals, and travel costs, for the seminar that will take place June 18 through 21 at the National Energy Center of Excellence on the campus of Bismarck State College.

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One of the biggest draws of this seminar is that teachers who successfully complete seminar requirements may earn two semester graduate credits in economics through the University of North Dakota, in science through Minot State University, or in education through North Dakota State University.

Educators of all grade levels and career guidance counselors are eligible to apply. Otter Tail Power Company is accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis until April 2. Minnesota and South Dakota schools within the company's service area have received application materials, or teachers may email Becky Luhning at bluhning@otpco.com or call her at 218-739-8206.

The seminar, in its 27th year, is designed to provide educators with a broader understanding of the lignite coal industry, how lignite coal is mined and converted into energy, and the important role it plays in providing electricity to residences and businesses in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

The seminar includes topics that are important to the region such as the economic impact of the industry, environmental issues, career opportunities and the need for more workers, energy conservation, and electric transmission. Besides lectures and classroom activities, seminar participants will tour a lignite mine, a power plant fueled by lignite, and the Great Plains Synfuels Plant. They'll also enjoy a meal onboard the Lewis & Clark Riverboat. Additionally, teachers will take home slides of each presentation, lesson plan examples, coal and ash samples, audiovisual materials, information about the facilities they tour, resource guides, and activities that they can conduct in their classrooms.

Last year Otter Tail Power Company sponsored seven teachers who attended this seminar. The response from past attendees has been overwhelmingly positive.

The Energy, Economics, and Environment Teacher Education Seminar is sponsored by the Lignite Energy Council in cooperation with the Center for Economic Education at the University of North Dakota, Minot State University, North Dakota State University, and Bismarck State College. The Lignite Energy Council is a trade association that represents more than 360 companies that are involved in the region's energy industry.

Otter Tail Power Company, a subsidiary of Otter Tail Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: OTTR), is headquartered in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. It provides electricity and energy services to more than a quarter million people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. To learn more about Otter Tail Power Company visit www.otpco.com. To learn more about Otter Tail Corporation visit www.ottertail.com.

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