MINOT, N.D. — Coal Creek Station, near Underwood, is North Dakota’s largest coal-fired power station.
It has two units, each rated at 550 megawatts, for a total maximum capacity of 1.1 gigawatts.
It provides jobs for a lot of people.
Hundreds at the plant itself, and hundreds more at the nearby Falkirk Mine, which is operated independently by a subsidiary of North American Coal but provides 100% of its output — about 7 to 8 million tons per year — to Coal Creek Station.
If you count the number of indirect jobs that rely on the commerce generated by all those plant workers and coal miners and their families, we’re talking about a number in the thousands.
Earlier this year, Great River Energy, a Minnesota-based power generation and transmission company, announced that they were facing “economic challenges” and would be making a decision about Coal Creek’s future sometime this year.
Multiple sources in various levels of government, as well as some sources in the energy industry, tell me they expect Great River to state their intentions at a meeting on May 6 of next week.