Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative seeking court opinion on Data Center shutdown order

Published: Jun. 26, 2023 at 10:35 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WILLISTON, N.D. (KUMV) - It’s been six days since the Williams County Commission ordered the power turned off for part of the Atlas Power Data Center west of Williston. Since then, the utility that handles the power to the facility has refused to do so, instead seeking a judge’s opinion on the matter.

Court documents given to Your News Leader indicate Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative wants the Northwest District Court to determine whether Williams County can force a utility to disconnect power, as well as to whom the order should be addressed to.

In the document, Mountrail-Williams claimed that Phase 2 of the Data Center uses equipment that was owned by Atlas Power and connects through Phase 1. Therefore, the utility argues shutting down Phase 2 would also shut down Phase 1.

“To disconnect Phase 2 only, Mountrail-Williams would need to operate [Atlas Power]’s own electrical equipment to disconnect the utility service. Since Mountrail-Williams does not own the electrical equipment used for Phase Two, it believes it would be more appropriate to address the request or demand to disconnect the utility service to [Atlas Power],” the document said.

Mountrail-Williams said in the document they wanted a court to decide on this matter due to the severe damages that would be caused by disconnecting services.

“Mountrail-Williams is not taking a position as to what authority Williams County has or whether or not [Atlas Power] is compliant. Mountrail-Williams is only seeking a determination and order from this court as to whether or not Mountrail-Williams must disconnect utility services to [Atlas Power]’s Phase 2,” the document said.

Mountrail-Williams receives more than $3 million a month in services from just Phase 2 alone according to court records.

The documents had not been filed by the district court as of Monday morning.

Previous Coverage: Electric utility in charge of Atlas Power Data Center refuses order to cut power, seeking court opinion