Coal Creek sale passes co-op vote

Coal Creek Power Station
Coal Creek Power Station
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 11:22 AM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The purchase of Coal Creek Power Station passed another hurdle.

The co-ops for the current owner of the plant, Great River Energy, received the necessary support to move forward with the sale with Rainbow Energy.

“The Rainbow Energy Center team is thankful for the tremendous support of the Great River Electric Co-Ops who voted in favor of this purchase. They, like us, recognize this transaction is a win-win for all stakeholders – including the State of Minnesota,” said Rainbow Energy President Stacy L. Tschider.

They have agreed to a 10-year deal where Great River will buy more than 1,000 megawatts from their former plant for the next two years, and slowly scale back for the remaining eight years.

The plant was planned to be shut down by the end of 2022, but the announcement of exclusive negotiations in June 2021 gave the plant a new fate.

“This is another huge step forward in securing a long-term, viable future for Coal Creek Station, its workers and the communities that depend on the hundreds of jobs at Coal Creek and the nearby Falkirk Mine,” Gov. Doug Burgum, R-N.D., and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, R-N.D., said in a joint statement.

When the sale was first announced, Rainbow Energy said they plan on investing in carbon capture technologies to the plant.

“Carbon capture is Coal Creek’s next chapter and will allow our state to lead the way in deploying the latest, greatest technology, enabling us to continue utilizing our abundant coal resources while reducing emissions,” Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said in a statement.

Both parties hope to pass the regulatory hurdles and have the deal finalized by the end of the year.

“Rainbow and Coal Creek are ideal partners who will help keep North Dakota at the forefront of energy production through its use of carbon capture technologies. We can continue our worldwide leadership in air emissions without sacrificing affordability and reliability,” Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said.

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