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Underwood residents react to the Coal Creek purchase

Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 8:21 PM CDT
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UNDERWOOD, N.D. – Rainbow Energy Center announced Wednesday they had come to an agreement to purchase Coal Creek Power Station from Great River Energy.

People Your News Leader talked to said there is a feeling of relief and hopeful optimism about the future in Underwood and some of the surrounding communities in the wake of the announcement.

The plant and mine employ a lot of residents that were concerned for their futures after last year’s announcement.

“Most of my friends work at some sort of plant or mine in the area and it’s a huge relief to not just the community, but to these people that these good high-paying jobs are going to stay in North Dakota where they belong, where they’re needed,” said Justin Adolf, Grimsley’s Convenience store owner.

In May of last year GRE said they intended to retire the 1,151 megawatt facility.

The state has been working since then to see that plant stay open.

“It’ll help my son in law. My daughter, my daughter that works at industrial lube in Washburn. Just all around. This is a very good deal for the state and the community as a whole,” said Robert Hobdenes, Underwood.

Locals pointed out that a number of towns in the area could take a hit without the jobs it provides.

“The trickle-down effect of that plant and mine not only effects businesses... My business and the business of this town, but businesses in Bismarck and Minot,” said Adolf.

Multiple bills passed during the legislative session easing the tax burden on coal facilities to help a possible deal go through. As part of a press release received from the companies REC reached an agreement with GRE to use the current plant employees they hire.

Related content:

Buyer announced for Coal Creek Power Station

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