Great River Energy to retire 189-MW Stanton plant in 2017

Great River Energy (GRE) intends to close the Stanton coal-fired power plant in North Dakota by May 2017

Great River announced its plan to retire the 189-MW power plant in a July 15 news release. GRE said plant is no longer economic to operate with current low prices in the regional energy market.

Great River Energy said that it has sufficient power capacity to meet the needs of our member cooperatives. GRE plans to meet future demand for energy with conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, natural gas and market purchases.

The plant initially used North Dakota lignite coal, but in 2004 began using low-sulfur subbituminous coal from Montana. As recently as June 2015, GRE was arguing before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that the Stanton coal plant should remain open.

“Stanton Station has provided dependable electricity to Great River Energy’s member cooperatives for 50 years,” said Great River Energy President and CEO David Saggau. “The plant’s long and successful record was possible thanks to a talented staff and supportive community.”

Great River Energy continues to operate the Coal Creek Station power plant, which is located northeast of Stanton, and the Spiritwood Station plant near Jamestown, N.D. Great River Energy is the majority owner of Midwest AgEnergy Group which owns and operates two ethanol plants and related facilities in North Dakota.

Great River Energy also maintains a number of transmission facilities in the state.

Great River Energy is developing plans to decommission Stanton Station, which began generating power in 1966, in a responsible manner that will safeguard the local environment and assure the safety and security of the local community.

“When we complete decommissioning, the facility will be retired-in-place pending future decisions on demolition and site redevelopment. Great River Energy will work with the North Dakota Department of Health and other state and federal organizations to ensure that Stanton Station is decommissioned in compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements,” GRE said in a fact sheet on the plant retirement.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at