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MDU buying power from Minnkota's Young station

North Dakota Lignite Council

MDU is buying power from the Milton R. Young power plant.

That coal fired plant is owned by Minnkota Power Cooperative.

MDU plans to purchase 30 megawatts to 90 megawatts over the terms of the contract, which runs from 2021 through 2026.

"The biggest reason we signed a purchased power agreement was to bridge the gap between our coal retirements, and the bringing on-line of our combustion turbine at the Heskett station," said MDU Spokesperson Mark Hanson. "This will provide needed capacity in that interim phase."

Heskett is just north of Mandan. It is being converted to natural gas.

MDU is also planning to take advantage of a new state law, designed to help the coal industry.

"What it (the law) does is offer some incentives to use existing lignite-fueled power, which is what we'll be getting from Minnkota," Hanson said.

That would mean recovering the cost from rate-payers.

"That's about 4 cents per month for an average household," Hanson said.

The North Dakota Public Service Commission will hold a hearing on MDU’s plan for recovering the cost of the power purchase agreement.

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