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MN Co-ops approve sale of the Coal Creek Station power plant

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The member co-ops of Great River Energy have approved the sale of the Coal Creek Station near Underwood to Bismarck-based Rainbow Energy Center.

The price was not disclosed.

Great River planned to shut the 11-hundred megawatt Coal Creek Station down, unless a buyer was found.

Under the agreement, GRE will buy 1050 megawatts of power from Rainbow Energy Center for two years, and 300 megawatts for eight more years.

"This is another big step in getting the power plant to new ownership, so we keep it operating, along with the mine," said Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) in a prepared statement. "We continue to work to make sure they can add carbon capture, which is a big part of this deal."

The North Dakota Legislature passed a package of bills in this year’s session to give the plant incentives. One is to allow cost recovery for carbon capture. Another provides a sales tax exemption for CO2 used for secure geologic storage. A third would exempt coal plants from the conversion facility tax for five years.

GRE expects the sale will close later this year, after some required approvals are obtained.

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