The Closure of Coal Power Station May Hurt Minnesota Consumers

"Great River Energy’s decision to shutter its Coal Creek power plant will have devastating consequences for the families and businesses that depend upon the reliable, affordable electricity generated from this plant" - Isaac Orr

Photo by Johannes Plenio
Photo by Johannes Plenio

The Minnesota-owned power station is set to close in 2022 after the plant lost money for years.

Great River Energy, the company that owns Coal Creek, announced they would close their plant in North Dakota, and later replace it with wind power and other stations. The decision was made after the station was losing money for years and assembling 13 teams to find solutions for staying afloat.

“All of our discussions have been basically giving the plant to somebody,” said the President of Great River Energy, according to The Bismarck Tribune.

Some speculate that the closure is not only due to low electricity prices but because of subsidies for Green Energy and that the switch would hurt the local economy. Ladd Erickson, an attorney for the State of North Dakota said that the economic gain from creating wind turbines would mostly be in the form of short term jobs.

Policy Fellow Isaac Orr said, “It is not a free market for electricity that is driving reliable coal plants off the grid, it is decades of renewable energy subsidies which have totaled more than $100 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. These subsidies allow wind developers to effectively dump electricity into the market at a loss, but still, come out with a profit thanks to taxpayers. This isn’t capitalism, it’s government cronyism, plain and simple.”

Great River Energy’s decision to shutter its Coal Creek power plant will have devastating consequences for the families and businesses that depend upon the reliable, affordable electricity generated from this plant,” commented Orr.