Bismarck, ND – Montana-Dakota Utilities will retire three coal-fired electric generation unit in a move toward natural gas.
MDU announced Tuesday that the aging units will be retired at the Heskett Station in Mandan and the Lewis and Clark station in Sydney, MT within the next two to three years. The company will then build a new simple-cycle natural gas combustion turbine. MDU says low-cost power available on the market as well as rising costs to operate these facilities led to the decision to retire the coal-plants.
MDU currently employs 77 people between the two coal stations. Once the switch occurs, MDU estimates about 10 people will be needed to operate the new facilities. It says it will keep everyone on staff until the plant retirements and then the company will offer training for employees interested in open positions in other areas of the company.
“Our main objective is to provide our customers with safe, reliable and low-cost service,” president and CEO of MDU Nicole Kivisto said.