MINOT, N.D. — Regulators in Minnesota have cleared the last regulatory hurdle standing in the way of the sale of Coal Creek Station, North Dakota’s largest coal-fired power plant.
The state’s Public Utilities Commission, eschewing demands from political activists to nix the sale, instead cast a unanimous 5-0 vote to approve it .
That’s a remarkable turnaround.
We went from Great River Energy announcing, in the spring of 2020 , that they’d be closing the plant and replacing it with wind energy to the company agreeing to purchase coal-fired energy from the plant for the next two decades.
Not as much coal power as before, to be sure. The sale includes a transmission line from the plant into the Minnesota energy market, and part of the deal allows for up to 400 megawatts of wind power to hit that transmission line in the future, but still.