ST. PAUL, Minn. – Great River Energy, a generation and transmission cooperative owned by 28 distribution cooperatives and the second largest utility in Minnesota, announced they would be closing the 1,151-megawatt Coal Creek Station in the second half of 2022. Great River Energy also announced they will replace the power with 1,100-megawatts in wind projects to mostly be made in Minnesota. In response, Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) and ranking DFL member on the Senate Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy Committee, released the following statement.
“Today’s announcement by Great River Energy is another positive step forward for a clean energy future and shows that the economics of energy production through renewable energy are not only competitive, but smart business. This will have a tremendous positive impact for our environment and the move away from carbon-based energy production, and by the end of this transition Great River Energy will be 95% carbon-free, while still providing reliable and affordable electricity for its customers. At the same time, this will be a difficult transition for the hundreds of workers at the Coal Creek Station. We cannot and should not ignore the cost to hardworking men and women who will lose their jobs, and we must consider how we can help workers transition into careers post coal.”