The last regulatory hurdle needed for the sale of the Coal Creek Station in Underwood was cleared Thursday.

The Minnesota Public Utility Commission approved the transfer of Coal Creek’s transmission line permit to Nexus Line, a subsidiary of Rainbow Energy.

Rainbow Energy is headquartered in Bismarck.

“Today’s approval is a critical milestone in transferring ownership of Coal Creek to Rainbow Energy, which will help ensure this facility continues to provide affordable and reliable energy to the region, while supporting good-paying jobs at both the station and the Falkirk mine,” said Sen. John Hoeven.

Hoeven also noted, with regulatory requirements resolved, the state and its energy partners can focus on developing the emerging carbon capture and storage industry in North Dakota.

Coal Creek would be a key player in carbon capture, utilization and storage, also known as CCUS.

Gov. Doug Burgum released a statement following the Minnesota approval, noting the move is “a momentous step” toward Rainbow Energy taking ownership of the Coal Creek Station and providing “a long-term future for the power plant, its workers and the communities” supported by jobs at Coal Creek and nearby Falkirk Mine.

“It also offers North Dakota the opportunity to further prove that we can be a national and world leader in carbon capture, storage and utilization through our continued focus on innovation over regulation,” Burgum added. “Preserving the baseload generation that Coal Creek provides is critical to U.S. energy security and maintaining a strong regional power grid, and we’re grateful to the industry, the state Legislature and our congressional delegation for their collaboration on ensuring a viable future for North Dakota’s abundant lignite coal.”