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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.

GRE’s all‐requirements members also approved a related purchase power agreement with Rainbow Energy Center, LLC. GRE will purchase 1,050 megawatts of power from Rainbow Energy Center, LLC for approximately two years, followed by 300 megawatts for approximately eight years.

GRE, Lake Country Power’s wholesale power provider, reached an agreement to sell the Coal Creek Station power plant to Rainbow Energy Center, LLC earlier this summer.

The sale of Coal Creek Station averts the plant’s closure, and Rainbow Energy Center will continue to operate the power plant using current plant employees they hire. Rainbow Energy Center also plans to develop carbon capture and storage at Coal Creek Station.

In addition, selling the plant offers other benefits for GRE’s member-owners compared with shutting it down.

“The sale versus closure of the plant is expected to save the entire GRE membership an estimated $130 million,” said Lake Country Power General Manager Mark Bakk. “Also, it saves hundreds of jobs and creates opportunities for the people who live and work in the surrounding communities.”

Nexus Line, LLC has reached an agreement to purchase from GRE the high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system that extends between central North Dakota and Minnesota. GRE will operate and maintain the HVDC system under a 10-year contract.

“The power supply changes presented by Great River Energy will provide continued success long into the future,” Bakk added. “We support the decision and feel it is in the best interest of our membership.”

“The successful implementation of carbon capture and storage is central to our plans at Coal Creek Station,” said Rainbow Energy Marketing Corp. President Stacy L. Tschider. “As a privately held company, we are uniquely positioned to continue the successful legacy that Great River Energy and its employees have established in North Dakota.”

Rainbow Energy Center plans to add incremental generation from renewables to fully utilize the capacity of the HVDC transmission system.

GRE will also enter into a power purchase agreement with Rainbow Energy Center, LLC. These transactions will help ensure GRE continues to provide its member-owners with reliable and affordable electricity as the cooperative builds its future power supply portfolio.

“We are building a power supply portfolio that will serve our member-owner cooperatives with clean, affordable and reliable energy for decades,” said GRE President and Chief Executive Officer David Saggau. The cooperative will add 900 MW of wind energy by 2023 and remains on track to meet Minnesota’s 80% carbon dioxide reduction goal ahead of schedule.

The sale of Coal Creek Station and the HVDC system is expected to close later this year, after additional required approvals are obtained.

See Power Supply Portfolio and GRE Power Generation Resources