Dairyland Power Cooperative has agreed with the Sierra Club and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to end coal-fired generation as of the last day of this year at Alma Units 4 and 5 (94.5 MW in total).
Dairyland, as a cooperative and not an investor-owned utility, has an obligation to lodge a stripped down integrated resource plan with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, which it filed on June 30.
In that plan, the cooperative noted that in October 2013 it announced its intention to indefinitely suspend operations at Alma Units 4 and 5 by early 2015. Then more recently it worked out an amendment to a clean-air consent decree with the Sierra Club and EPA, which was approved by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin on April 28, that firmed up the end of coal-fired generation as being by Dec. 31 of this year.
Dairyland noted that it recently worked out a power purchase deal with an unnamed party for 50 MW of capacity in 2018, then 150 MW per year in the 2019-2022 period, which comes from an unspecified existing gas turbine facility. Dairyland said it is also looking with unnamed possible partners at building a gas-fired combined-cycle project to meet its needs during the 2021-2013 period.
Dairyland has minor needs, what it called “small planning gaps,” for new capacity in the 2015-2017 period and is looking at filling those with renewable energy, like solar.