BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The company that operates the largest coal-fired power plant in North Dakota is looking for solutions to overcome financial challenges amid the low cost of electricity in the power market.
The Bismarck Tribune reports the Minnesota-based Great River Energy told employees at a meeting last week about financial issues facing the plant, prompting rumors about a potential closure.
Spokeswoman Therese LaCanne said the company has not made a decision to shut down Coal Creek Station.
She said Great River Energy is assembling 13 teams to look at solutions for the plant, which has operated for about 40 years.
Great River Energy closed its Stanton Station coal-fired power plant in North Dakota in 2017. It was far smaller than Coal Creek and burned subbituminous coal from Montana.
Coal Creek burns lignite coal from North Dakota.
The North Dakota Industrial Commission in November awarded it a $4.2 million matching grant to fund a preliminary carbon capture study for the plant. The project would involve capturing the power plant’s carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to climate change, and injecting them underground for permanent storage.
Great River Energy last year finished upgrading a transmission line that runs from the plant 436 miles east to Minnesota. The company said its high-voltage, direct-current system is one of the company’s “most significant capital investments over the last several years.”