MCPA board votes to support the sale of Coal Creek Station & Transmission System

Background: Rainbow Energy Center, LLC reached an agreement to purchase Coal Creek Station from Great River Energy and operate the 1,151-megawatt (MW) power plant using current plant employees they hire. Nexus Line, LLC will purchase the high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system that extends between central North Dakota and Minnesota from Great River Energy. Great River Energy will operate and maintain the HVDC system under a 10-year contract. Rainbow Energy Center and Nexus Line are affiliates of Rainbow Energy Marketing Corporation of Bismarck, North Dakota. As part of this agreement, Great River Energy will enter into a power purchase agreement with Rainbow Energy Center. The Great River Energy board of directors approved these agreements at its June 30, 2021 meeting.

At their meeting on July 27th, 2021, the McLeod Co-op Power Board of Directors approved a resolution to support the sale of the Coal Creek Station & the high voltage direct current transmission system as described above. The Co-op’s Board of Directors took into consideration that this agreement would lower GRE’s purchase power expenses, keep jobs in North Dakota, address energy reliability, and advance carbon capture storage technologies.

It’s believed that carbon capture can help the United States retain reliability while addressing global warming concerns. A June 30, 2021, report from the White House Council on Environmental Quality stated that carbon capture will likely play an important role in decarbonization efforts globally.

The sale of Coal Creek Station and the HVDC system is expected to close later this year after required approvals are obtained. Following the sale of Coal Creek Station, Great River Energy will have a contract (10 years) with Rainbow Energy Center. Great River Energy will purchase 1,050 megawatts for a two-year period, and then 300 megawatts for an eight-year period. It’s expected that the agreement provides a cost-effective and appropriately sized resource and will serve as a reliable steppingstone as Great River Energy transitions its power supply.

At a special July 30 meeting, Great River Energy’s member cooperatives approved the sale of Coal Creek Station and the high voltage direct current (HVDC) system to Rainbow Energy Center, LLC and Nexus Line, LLC, respectively.

Click here to read GRE’s announcement on the Sale of Coal Creek.